God, the Faithful Lover

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
 
God, the Faithful Lover
 
The above words of Paul are part of a longer reading that can be chosen for a funeral in the Episcopal Church.  The words follow a couple of introductory questions where Paul asks, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Romans 8:35)  The clear implication, before Paul even answers these questions, is “Nothing!  Nothing whatsoever will separate us from the love of Christ!”  Paul had been through just about all of these things.  I’m not sure about famine, but he definitely had experienced all the other “perils and persecutions” in his pursuit of proclaiming the good news of Christ.  He experienced extreme beatings and even wrote letters from prison to encourage the faithful in various churches.  In all of that, he knew “the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 
So... no matter what you and I go through... including the doorway to the next life that we call death... nothing - NOTHING can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
I am reminded of the phrase, “You can’t out-give God.”  You also can’t out-love God or “out-faith” God.  The testimony of Paul is that God is the faithful lover - no matter what.  I can’t hold a candle to Paul, but that is my testimony, too.  God loves you today, tomorrow, and forever, and nothing you do or nothing you go through will change that.
 
This is why Romans 8:38-39 is great news to share at a funeral.  Even death cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!  Jesus was dealt the most awful, violent of deaths, and God raised him.  So we, too, shall be raised - because God is love.
 
How does that strike you on Wednesday, the 6th of July, in the year 2016?
 
Are you ready to receive the love of God today?  Are you ready to jump up and down and celebrate the fact that NOTHING can come between you and God’s love?  I am!