March 14, 2019
[Setting: This past Tuesday, in the living room of the parsonage. A conversation between my older daughter Grace and me.]
Grace: Hey, Dad. What are you working on?
Me: [mumbling] My Midweek Message. I’m kind of stuck.
Grace: What is it about?
Me: Well, this Thursday is March 14, which is “Pi Day.” You know, 3.14?
Grace: [eye roll] I know what pi day is, Dad.
Me: I’d like to make some connection between pi and the Christian faith for my Midweek, but I don’t know quite what to say.
Grace: Oh. Well, you might say that pi is an irrational concept made up of an infinite sequence of numbers that constitutes a universal constant. And then you might say that is exactly what God’s love is like. It’s hard to wrap our heads around it because it is infinite and irrational and intangible, but a constant in the universe that we can always rely on.
Me: [staring, dumbfounded] That’s brilliant. I’m going to use that.
Grace: Yeah, I know you will.
I then thought about the number of times that the Bible talks about the infinite dimensions of God’s love. Consider the following passages, and how they might be a timely reminder for you that you are loved by an eternally faithful God:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
“I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19)
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are.” (1 John 3:1)
“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)
I could go on, of course. The Bible is packed with reminders of how much God loves you. But here’s one more that you will want to read and ponder. It’s a hymn written by German hymn writer and mystic Gerhard Tersteegen, and translated into English by John Wesley while he was in Georgia in 1736:
Thou hidden Love of God, whose height,
whose depth unfathomed, no man knows,
I see from far Thy beauteous light,
and inly sigh for Thy repose;
my heart is pained, nor can it be
at rest till it finds rest in Thee.
If your heart is restless and pained, may you find rest in the infinite and irrational love of God, a universal constant in our lives.
[LATER THAT EVENING]
Grace: Dad, now that I’ve helped you write your Midweek, how about helping me with my homework?
Me: [laughing] I’m totally ending my message with that line.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist