Staff Note – Katrina Belcher: How Deep the Father’s Love

Every night when we pray together as a family, my husband Richie and I pray that our children will know how much we love them and how much God loves them. This small daily ritual has become more than a heartfelt prayer. Every time we pray these words, I am filled with longing. The prayer is for both them and me. I want William and Penelope to know how loved they are because I also yearn to know how loved I am by God and, in turn, to fall more in love with him.

In theory, God’s unfailing loving for us is a relatively simple concept. But truly understanding God’s love for me, and living a life ordered by that love, is often challenging. As we prepare to celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to us at Pentecost, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s love to you in new and deeper ways and, in response, to fall more in love with God.

It is not revolutionary to say that a fresh revelation of God, who is love, allows us to love more deeply. Love him; love one another. But fresh revelation can be so powerful that it bears repeating.

For the past few months, I have been drawn to two mediations every day: John 17:20-26 and the hymn, “How Deep the Fathers Love for Us”. As much as I would love to give full musings on both of these beautiful pieces, I want to leave them here for you to sit with. I pray that the Spirit ministers to you through them.

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
(Jn 17:20-26)

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

(Image: Venn Foundation)