Christian Education Department 2017 Spring Quarter “God Loves Us” – Unit 3: God’s Pervasive and Sustaining Love
Is it possible to spend too much time talking about the love of God? The inspired authors of both Old and New Testaments don’t think so! This quarter offers a kaleidoscopic sampling.
Perhaps the most difficult task for Christians is to love those we consider to be unlovable. Yet as God reached out to us through other people, we are to be his hands and feet in doing likewise. The book of Jonah offers us a fascinating contrast between the love God has for all people on the one hand and human bias on the other. To ignore God’s call is bad enough; to resist that call actively beggars description. The experiences of the prophet Jonah stand as a warning of such rebellion. As the consequences of his decision to flee his call threatened the physical and spiritual lives of others (lessons 10 and 12), so may our similar decisions as well. “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Sometimes it is only when we hit bottom that we come to our senses. As with Jonah, God may leave us in that rock-bottom state so we will realize our helplessness (lesson 11). God’s patience with Jonah resulted in citywide repentance in Nineveh, but that was not the end of the story. Jonah still had “anger management” problems regarding his own sense of justice and entitlement (lesson 13). There’s a little bit (or a lot) of Jonah in each of us. What are we going to do about it?