“This is why the Father loves me because I freely lay down my life.” ~ John 10:17 (MSB)
What does it mean to be wrapped up in God’s love? Being wrapped in God’s love means feeling smothered in God’s love, feeling wanted by Him as our Father, as Jesus was from birth.
As a baby, Jesus was expected, talked about and wanted, not just by Mary and Joseph, but by many in Israel. Sometimes I wonder, “How many of us felt we were wanted, expected, and talked about before our birth, and felt wrapped in our parents love”?
When you are wrapped in God’s love, you know it. Jesus knew He was wrapped in His Father’s love, and with it came insight beyond the normal. He knew, for instance, whom He had chosen, and was sure of them.
There is a grace in Christ, as He points out in John 10:17, the reason His Father loves Him because He is willing to lay down his life. No one could have demanded it, nor did His disciples demand it. But out of His love for us, He laid it down for our redemption. Out of His love for us, He offered Himself up to be the Savior of us all.
He was both the offerer and the offering, so His laying down His life was His offering. He laid it down because He was wrapped up in God’s love. Jesus did not lay His life down for His doctrine’s sake, but for His sheep’s sake.
Love is not an easy thing, and in love one can easily crash and burn. Love can be and sometimes is a painful thing! Wrapped up in love could mean we’re so caught up in love that we feel twisted into a knot. For instance the famous ‘love knot’ in jewelry, is an unbreakable knot, and it looks the same as the biblical fisherman’s knot.
God’s love is more than jewelry, and passionate physical emotion, at its best it is also not a temporary feeling but a good and steady permanent love. So the question remains, “What does it mean to be wrapped up in God’s love?” For the answer, let’s turn to scripture.
As individuals, Jesus tells us we are to “Love The Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, and mind; and our neighbor as ourselves.” (Matthew 22:37-38).
As married couples, men are to love their wives as we love ourselves, and the wife is to respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)
As a family, the children are to honor their mothers and fathers, and the parents are not to exasperate our children instead bring them up in the training and instruction of The Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)
As a church family we are to be one body with many parts, and know each of us is a part of this body. (1 Corinthians 12:12). Then Paul goes on to explain in 1 Corinthians 13 a more excellent way, reminding us even if we have all the spiritual gifts found in Chapter 12 of Ephesians and we do have not love, then we are only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
As a community, all believers are to be of one heart and mind, and share everything we have and then much grace will be upon us, and then there will be no needy among us. (Acts 4:32)
As a state when under the leadership of a good shepherd like that of David in Psalm 23, then the state prospers, because the good shepherd knows The Lord is their Shepherd, and they feel wrapped in His love.
As a nation the country prospers when we follow the commands, decrees and laws of God’s Word, (Deuteronomy 6:1) and it too feels wrapped in God’s love.
As a world tells us God has shown us what is good. “And what does The Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
Sometimes we all feel twisted in love; and trapped in our hearts, or in the hearts of others. Sometimes we feel trapped by love. But being “wrapped up in God’s love” is the only real salvation for such entrapment. It is a good thing to be and feel wrapped up in the shelter of God’s love.
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or firstname.lastname@example.org