In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1: 7
How often do we have the opportunity to use the word lavish in a sentence? Not nearly enough, am I right? Lavish is “sumptuously rich, elaborate…” or “luxurious; to bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities upon.” Do we consider God’s love on us as lavish? Extravagant? Or the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ as a lavish gift, rich and unending in substance and grace? Love, in fact, should always be lavish, unrelenting, and overflowing in its quality. Lavishly is truly the only way that our God knows how to love. And if we begin to think of ourselves as loved by God in a lavish, outlandish, and beautiful kind of way then, perhaps, we may imagine how that love might wash through and cleanse us in such a way that we can pass it on…lavishly.
Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry speaks a lot about the nature of love and how love can transform us. Jesus commanded us to love one another, even as He loves us. I cannot imagine the author of our salvation, the giver of His wrists and feet and side - for the sake of love and mercy - could love us in any other way than completely, recklessly, and, at the risk of repeating myself, lavishly. A love that has no bounds or walls is a kind of love that we may struggle to imagine outside the confines, perhaps, of our own families or friends. But the only love that will transform the world is lavish love for those with whom we are in conflict, misunderstanding or that live in unspoken fear of. God has loved us extravagantly and eternally through the blessing of Jesus Christ. May we open our hearts wide to an overflowing a love that cannot help to pour out onto the world.