I have a granddaughter. Her name is Katelyn and she is my only grandchild, so I dote on her quite a bit. It’s my responsibility, don’t you know. Parents discipline and instruct, grandparent’s dote. It’s the way of things.
Now I’m going to brag just a bit about Katelyn–she got straight A’s at school during the first marking period of her freshman year in high school. So I’m really proud of her. On the other hand, if she had received a bunch of D’s I would have still been proud of her–not because of what she had done, but because of who she is. You see I don’t love my granddaughter because she is the best high school freshman–I love her because she is my granddaughter.
It’s similar to the way God loves His chosen people. He doesn’t love us because we’re good or smart or because we achieve great things. He loves us because we are, because we exist, and He has chosen to love us, even though we’re not very lovable when you weigh us on the scales of righteousness or obedience.
St. John says that God is love. And that is true, even if we often misunderstand what John meant when he wrote those words. God created us so that He might love us. We exist to be the object of His divine affection. We are created so He can love us the way the Trinity has experienced love within Himself. The Father has always loved the Son who has always loved the Father who has always loved the Spirit who has always loved the Son who has always loved the Spirit who has always loved the Father. [I came by this understanding by reading Tim Keller, a Presbyterian pastor]. So God has chosen to share this love outside the Trinity and we receive it as a gift–an undeserved gift.
The next time you look at someone you love, just because you love them, I hope you’re reminded that the God of the universe loves you too–just because you are you.