What Does God Love?
It’s a simple question. But it caught me off-guard when I first read it: What does God love? The question comes toward the end of the book Future Faith: Ten Challenges Reshaping Christianity in the 21st Century by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson. He calls it the foundational theological question to reframe our approach to faithful engagement. He writes:
What does God love? And how? When we begin with the conviction that God’s love is directed toward and found within all that God has created, everything changes.
Ann Smith, long-time missionary to Japan and saint of the church (watch a video with her here), has made a similar statement. For years, she has said that our job as Christians is to share the light, not get rid of the darkness. By being the light, we actually are driving out the darkness. But as Christians, we can find ourselves concerned more with what we are against than what we are for. We end up asking: What does God despise and how do I rid the world of it? Ann adds that when our intention is to destroy the darkness rather than share the light, we end up destroying people in the process.
We just celebrated Easter. We just took time to remember the gift of reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ—a gift, not something we earned or can claim responsibility for. It was a gift given with the only expectation that, for those who claim Christ, we are to go and do likewise—to love others as God has loved us.
And so, as I sit in the light of hope that comes with the resurrection of Christ, I ask myself the question, What does God love? And how?