Tuesday, 18 July 2017

God's Delight in Us

There were some passages I really enjoyed writing in my new book God-Soaked Life (UK / US); sometimes it's just sheer pleasure to share some good news. Here's an example:
Jesus' invitation into the life of the kingdom was not only for the people living in the Holy Land in the first century; it is also for you and me. And it's not only for the saintly, the righteous, the holy among us. Jesus has thrown the gates of the kingdom wide and invites us all - the broken, the failures, the compromised, the bitter, the anguished, and the wicked, along with everyone else. Jesus offers us this invitation because of God's tremendous delight in us. God rejoices in our friendship, our companionship. He longs to shower love on us and to see us grow in our ability to love him and love on another. He made us for himself, and his heart is restless until it finds its rest in us.
This idea of God's delight in us is one of my favourite themes, and I find myself reflecting on it a lot in my speaking and writing. In The Fire of the Word (UK / US) I used an image rooted in that sense of delight to describe contemplative prayer, describing an elderly couple sat together on a summer's evening - not chatting, not breaking the beautiful silent moment, just enjoying one another's company.

At Launde Abbey we spend two half-hour periods in silence every day in our Chapel. People pray, or reflect, or meditate, or read, or fidget uncomfortably (yes, that too!). God, I think, hugely values the chance simply to spend time with us, with no agenda and no need for anything much to happen. He seems to spend thirty minutes delighting in us. It's a great experience.

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