Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NRSV)
One of my favourite pieces of sculpture is The Pieta by Michelangelo. It is one of the most serene art works I have ever had the opportunity to see. It shows the love of Mary for Jesus in such a beautiful way, as her gentle arms are shown enfolding him tenderly and her smile beams down upon him. Last Christmas the message of this sculpture was brought to life for me in a wonderful way.
At our early Christmas Eve service, our cherub choir members and their parents sang a carol together. After their song, the family members sat together in the pews. One young lady, aged six, was very tired and crawled into the safety of her mother's lap and loving arms. I saw this mother cuddling her daughter as she slept, just as Mary held Jesus in The Pieta. The expression on the mother's face was everything that I could ever hope to see, shining with great love for her child.
For a moment, I had what seemed like a vision superimposed over this scene. All of a sudden, it became so clear that God loves all His children, whatever our age, in this same way. God's arms are always open to embrace us. I saw the safety that we can find when we turn to God. I experienced the trust that we can give to God. I felt the tremendous caring that God has for each of us. I realized that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
It is a picture that will remain with me as long as I live.
Prayer: Holy One, as we go through our lives, facing the many different things that befall us, may we always be aware of your loving presence which goes with us, caring for us, protecting us, and leading us. Amen.