I see a Cross on the Hill of Reproach!
(Alexander Smellie, "The Hour of Silence" 1899)
"God is Love!" 1 John 4:8
It is a little flower which I pluck from the garden of John's letter — this fragrant definition of God. Yet it suggests mysteries and miracles for which my intellect has no solution.
For it carries me away into the dateless years of eternity. Always Love has been God's name; always Love has summarized and crowned God's nature. Deep in His heart it lay through these far-off years. But, even then, it cared for me, and foresaw my sin and bitterness and death and damnation. Long before my world was made, God, who is Love, was busy devising my salvation!
I look again at John's rose-blossom, and I see a Cross on the Hill of Reproach. Love could not remain pent up in the bosom of God. It broke the confining barriers. "The God of love," Plato said with unconscious prophecy, "would be found one day lying on the city streets, shoeless, penniless, homeless." It is true of my God. He gave Himself for me! He became, in this apostle's phrase, the atoning sacrifice for my sins!
Again I lift John's flower, and it awakens in me a glowing hope for myself. There is none so wondrous and powerful as this God of love. I welcome Him and . . .
my heart is transfigured,
my life is sublimed,
I am changed into His image,
I dwell myself in love,
love becomes my atmosphere and my universe.
God is Love . . .
Love indwelling me,
Love sacrificing and suffering for me,
Love melting and conquering me, and making all things new.