canalfestival2014cHave you ever wondered how there can be a God of love in a world of bad news?

This is one of the most common questions I am asked when I am out community visiting. Lets look more closely at what is meant by ‘God of love’. As one writer puts it, for many it’s an attractive phrase picked up at a school assembly or through some brief encounter with religion. God for them is a big grandfather in the sky with a kind face and a pocket full of gifts. For them their ‘god’ is there to sort out problems. Does this sound familiar? Or there are others who feel that God exists to be used; get what you can out of him and dispense with him when he doesn’t deliver. Ironically those that think this way talk of a God of love but have no idea of returning that love. What if this is a kindergarten understanding of God, one dimensional without depth or sophistication?

So when people who view God like this say they have lost faith, I tell them I am pleased because the quicker they get rid of this false idea of God the quicker they can find the view of God that Jesus presents in the Bible.

So there is good news in the midst of the bad! This love is different. It’s a love that reaches out to rescue us in the midst of our troubles. If you’ve ever thought ‘God help me’, then you will know what I mean. The life of Jesus is all about this. God coming into the world to love people and build relationships with them, no matter their position in society, their education, age or ability to work.

Jesus shows there are no conditions placed on God’s love for us other than being willing to believe him and receive his love, forgiveness and friendship. Some inspired words from the Bible: ‘I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in and eat with that person”