I am keen on memorable quotes, one of my all time favourites is this:
What ever I do, God cannot love me any more or any less.
I referred to this quote today a part of a talk at Sally’s first communion today. I was doing the loving yourself part, others talked about loving God and loving your neighbour. (We each had only five minutes – perhaps the most challenging part of the task!) As much as I love and believe these words, they are full of danger as well as affirmation and blessing. If I misunderstood this quote, I could take it to mean that I do not need to try and be the person God wants me to be – I can do what I like and God still loves me! It could be misconstrued to mean something like the danger Paul warns the Romans about in Romans 6.1 “What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?” I think the answer to this was no!
Also it is not to say that we cannot grieve God, make God sad, hold back how much kingdom God desires to come. Let’s not kid ourselves, we can upset God, but it does not and cannot change how much God loves us. However, I do not have a licence to do what ever I want, the statement for me, it more of a reflection on the power of God’s love and the risk God takes in the liberating licence I have when I live in this truth.
This is God’s gracious, generous promise to Sally in her Priesting, in her ongoing ministry, to the people of God to whom she has the privilege of serving and to all of us.