“All One in Christ”(Part 4) – “Nothing Means Nothing!” by the Revd Andy Marshall
My relationship with these verses goes right back to when I was a teenager, brand new to the Christian faith. In those days, I would pore over the Bible in my room every morning and night. Initially without Bible reading notes, or any sort of teaching about how to read the Bible, this time often involved letting the Bible fall open somewhere and then reading what I found.
At the same time as I was exploring what initially felt – to me – like a radically inclusive faith, I began hearing very negative things said about gay people (there was no conversation about other identities in those days). While my new-found faith offered such hope, it would also bring much hardship.
One day, the verses above jumped out at me, and really spoke hope to me. I remember highlighting the verses, underlining them, and writing them down in my journal. There was nothing that could separate me from God’s love. It was such a revelation and such a powerful anchor for my faith.
Years later, when I joined a conversion therapy group that I was a part of for 2 years, there were many dark and difficult days. But these verses spoke hope to me and helped me to hang onto my faith, until I eventually realised that the love of God that they spoke of, was for the person that I already was. With time, I would reflect on these verses, while trying to allow myself to feel the inalienable truth of being that person that God created and loved.
The verses still evoke a powerful emotional reaction in me now … over 2.5 decades later. I hope you know that nothing in all creation can separate you from God’s love.
Loving God, creator of all life, in all its beautiful diversity,
I give you thanks for the wonder of your creation, for the wonder of humanity, for the wonder of us, for the wonder of me.
In today’s reading, I am reminded that nothing in all of creation can separate me from your love. There have been, and there will be, people who attempt to tell me differently, but help me to lean on the promise of your word and the assurance of your love.
Help me to be more aware of your love with each passing day, to carry it with me into the day and to share it with those around me, so that they, too, may know your life for them.
Tomorrow – the Revd Jide Macaulay, “My Beloved..”, Romans 9: 25-26