DayBreaks for 03/28/12 – Love Was the Difference
3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. – Romans 8:3
Walter Wangerin, Jr. tells a wonderfully illustrative story called “Matthew, Seven, Eight, and Nine” about how he tried to stop his son Matthew from stealing comic books. He tried all sorts of things, including various uses of the law over a period of several years but no matter what he tried, his son kept stealing comics. Finally, after his exasperation reached its limit, he resorted to spanking his son, Matthew. The spanking was administered coldly and seemingly without emotion or compassion. When he was done, though, he was so upset that he left the room and wept. After getting his composure back, he went into Matthew’s room, pulled him close and gave him a hug. Years later after Matthew had grown up, he and his mom were reminiscing, and Matthew brought up the topic of how he’d stolen the comics. He asked his mother, “And you know why I finally stopped?” “Sure,” she said, “Because Dad finally spanked you.” “No!” replied Matthew, “No, because Dad cried.” Wangerin concludes his story with these words:
“Hereafter, let every accuser of my son reckon with the mercy of God, and fall into a heap, and fail. For love accomplished what the law could not, and tears more powerful than Sinai. Even the Prince of Accusers shall bring no charge against my son that the Final Judge shall not dismiss. Satan, you are defeated! My God has loved my Matthew.” (The story can be found in Walter Wangerin, Jr., The Manger Is Empty, pp. 116-132).
What the law could never do, love could. What rule keeping could never accomplish, relationship could. Let us also love, not just in word, but in truth and in deed.
PRAYER: We have been hurt by love many times, Lord. Don’t let us run from your love, but welcome it and accept it! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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