but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (ESV)
Homer’s Iliad is the epic poem about the Trojan War. In Book III, the goddess Aphrodite speaks with Helen, whose beauty it was claimed launched a thousand ships. In Stanley Lombardo’s translation, we find the goddess a bit angry with the mortal woman.
Don’t vex me, b****, or I may let go of you
And hate you as extravagantly as I love you now.
I can make you repulsive to both sides, you know,
Trojans and Greeks, and then where will you be?
I cannot help but be struck by the stark contrast with the one true God. The Greco-Roman gods were easily angered and vindictive. They were thought to love you one moment and strike you down the next, and you could only hope and guess about which would happen. Imagine, then, the shock when it was revealed to people whose only experience of gods was like this passage from the Iliad that the one true God loved them, even when they sinned against Him.
Two thousand years later, do we take this for granted? How grateful, really, are we for the love of God? There is no one, not one, on earth or in any other faith, like the One Who loves us, even in our sins.
Father, may I never take for granted the love You have shown me through the life, death, and life of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ. May all that I do reflect that gratitude to You and show others the joy of Your love. Amen.
Copyright © 2015 by Steven R. Perkins