John, one of my favorite disciples, is cool. He's cool in the way that confidence and calmness are cool. He knows God, he loves all, he is gentle and kind, visionary and confident.
In the book of 1 John in the Bible, John writes about love that I will liberally paraphrase. He must have been thrilled to have had this idea about God. He must have felt a sense of relief in that recognition of what he always knew to be true.
Everything he learned took on new and more profound meaning with this
acknowledgement of God's love: the big "AHA" moment that transformed how he thought about God and how he thought about himself and others. I can see him talking to a group of people:
Listen to this! Try to even imagine the love that God has given to us.
Let's plumb the depths of the deepest love we can fathom. Yes! God is even now
calling us His children.....We are precious, we are the beloved. Yes! Right at
this very moment, we are the children of God....Will we take the time to really
get what this means? Are we going to believe this? Think of it. God is Love. And
the very fact that we are aware of love means that we are aware of God. We live
in Love and Love in us. And that cements our relationship to Love. And because
of our closeness to God, we don't ever have to be afraid."
(Taken from parts of 1 John chapters 3: verses 1 to 3 and 4; verses 16, 18, 19.)
King David also wrote songs and poetry about God's love for him. This King was known for his adventurous spirit and spiritual curiosity. He knew remorse and repentence, joy and peace. He made big mistakes, but he did glorious things. I love this song about his most intimate and loving
relationship to God. This is from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible:
You have looked deep into my heart, LORD, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, and with your powerful arm you
protect me from every side.
Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight? If I were to
climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there. If I were to dig down to
the world of the dead you would also be there. Suppose I had wings like the
dawning day and flew across the ocean. Even then your powerful arm would guide
and protect me.
Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever
imagine. I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on
the beach. And when I awake, I will find you nearby. God's assurance and love
fills up the Bible in its messages and letters to God's children -- and that
means all of us.
The King James version of Jeremiah 31: 3 brings the point home:
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee withan everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Take a deep deep breath. Open your arms out wide. God's love for us is infinite. All we need to do is accept it.
The colors of the trees up north are at their bawdiest. Loud and luxurious, it is like riding through a rainbow. Driving down from the northwoods to St. Paul, the colors blurred and blared all the way into town.
And once into town, I parked our car and walked to our condo on the corner, only to bump into the new daycare that has just opened up in our building. Giggling girls in colorful hijabs were walking with their teacher to the nearby park. They caught me by surprise. "You all look so beautiful!" I exclaimed. "Thank you" said a shy little girl flashing a wide grin.
Color, wonder, joy -- they are everywhere. We recognize this because actually the color, wonder and joy are already within us. Just as we wouldn't understand someone speaking Mandarin Chinese, unless we knew Mandarin Chinese, so we would not recognize beauty and joy unless we already spoke that language. Think of it, we all speak the language of joy!
The kingdom of God is known as the reign of harmony. Jesus said it succinctly in Luke 17:21 ".... behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
Wherever we are, we take the kingdom of God with us and our open eyes enable us to see new forms of beauty and color and joy.
"Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color." (from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy 247:21)
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016