Summary: When the fellowship between two persons is broken, the love between them impels the Lover to offer repair in order to restore fellowship and reunite Lover and beloved.
We continue our sermon series, “Falling in Love Again.” And I’m excited to keep learning and seeing more of how God loves us, and how we can love Him.
On Ash Wednesday, we heard that there was “A Falling Out” between man and God. If there hadn’t been a falling out, then we wouldn’t need to fall back in love. And we heard that the Father longs for us to return to Him. On the First Sunday in Lent, we learned that, although it may not always feel like God loves us, He truly does love us. And we must “Believe in Love” that He has for us in order to resist the devil. I regret that I couldn’t be here last Sunday, when we heard the Good News that God sent His only-begotten Son to save, not condemn, us.
As we continue our sermon series, “Falling in Love Again,” we learn today…
“When it all falls apart,” love repairs broken fellowship. Who hear has fallen in love with someone before? Let’s turn back the clock to school days: Who has fallen in love, but had things fall apart? It’s awful. Your heart is torn out and you feel hollow. If you still loved that person, what did you do? You tried to repair things. Now puppy love is a faint, faint shadow of the love of God; imagine how much more He yearns to have us back when we have things fall apart.
If you recall what we’ve already learned, by our Baptism God grants us “union with Christ in his death and resurrection, [and] birth into God’s family the Church” (BCP, pg 858). Baptism makes us children of God; we become His children by adoption. He does this by grace, and we accept His grace through faith. That is the relationship. And within the relationship, we share fellowship, which is the active life of the relationship in which we connect, one person to another, one heart to another.
We can break fellowship with God the Father, just like I can strain my relationship with my earthly father, breaking fellowship with him. But the relationship that we have with God is unbreakable, just like I am always the son of my earthly father no matter what I say or do. Even if we disown our Father in heaven and take another false god—be it money, power, or whatever—our true Father is God. And He longs for our reconciliation. “When it all falls apart,” love repairs broken fellowship.
“When it all falls apart,” Love sees what’s wrong. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, He did not dance around her life and her choices. Women did not draw water at noon, unless they were outcasts. It was clear to anyone that she wasn’t part of “normal” society. But Jesus knew more than what the outward appearance showed. Her previous five marriages had failed; her life had fallen apart, and she had thrown in the towel. And she was shamed for living with her boyfriend. While the Lord clearly rejected that as an acceptable choice (lifestyle, as we call it today), He went the next step past seeing what’s wrong.