By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee
“Give thanks to the Lord, for God is good. God’s love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. God’s love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1-3
Back in the 20th century there was a very famous movie titled, “Grease.” It was a spoof on life in the 1950’s with hot cars, slick-haired boys and some girls who wanted to be movie stars. One of the great songs of that movie was Sandy’s crooning to Danny, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” If you go to a party even today with people who grew up with that movie, they will sing right along if it’s played at just the right volume and everyone smiles! Devotion. God has it. We all need it.
God is devoted to us—not with less hope-but full of hope—HOPEFULLY devoted to us! That’s how God works. If we are to worship God, who is the object of our devotion, then it is only a reflection of the God who is devoted to us! “Worship” is an old English term that has been Americanized from the phrase “worth-ship”…as in our devotion to God is always worth it! And when it comes to that … God is and we are… worth it! As the crown of God’s creation and the object of God’s affection, God cares about us more than anything else… wanting for us the best that any relationship can be… totally devoted!
In the Old Testament, we see that God is a “jealous” God and that word literally means, “white with fire,” the kind of feeling a teenager has for a girlfriend or boyfriend only to find out that someone else is the object of their affection. Whoa! That’s some kind of jealous! And while that all sounds adolescent and sophomoric, as they say, I really like the idea that God cares about us that much and feels that way about us even when and especially when our affections are turned away from God and most of the time turned in on ourselves. When God comes to us in Jesus Christ, we see once again God at work courting us to exhibit the same devotion for God that God has of us.
Perhaps St. Augustine said it best… “God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us!”
Or like an old said once put it… “One single day of devotion is worth more than a thousand years of worldly life.”
Devotion can be costly as much as helpful. Sometimes parents place more devotion on their children than they do God. And children can grow up faith-less. People of faith call that idolatry. Others place a greater devotion on love of job than they do on love of God. People like that are called ‘work-a-holics.’ Or still others hold a higher premium on devotion to fun and a care-free life with little time for God and the things of God. The consequence is always someone else must come running to the rescue when it all falls down. And, then, we find ourselves back at square one as devotion to God includes devotion to family, neighbors and friends. Jeremiah 31:3 says, ‘The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” God still has that kind of devotion to us! Forever! We all need it!
Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi. Comments and questions can be sent to [email protected].