This month I am sharing a dynamic devotional message from David Scherer (aka Agape), formerly a youth staffer at Mount Olivet; currently one of my three most treasured sons-in-law. In attempting to convey the explosive good news of this Easter season who better than this celebrated “white, bilingual, Christian hip-hop artist”?!  Here’s selection from David’s recent book, Agap-ology*:

“In college I remember seeing a series of photos in the New York Times. The first photo showed an angry mob of college students chasing a white supremacist down the street … In the second photo the crowd is beating the neo-Nazi with their sticks and fists. It’s the left side of the second frame that still trips me out to this day. In it you see an eighteen-year-old African American woman who has draped her body over the man … to protect him. You can see a look of desperation on her face as she pleads with the crowd to stop … At the bottom of the frame you see the skinhead looking at the woman’s lifesaving gesture as if he was looking at a unicorn.

I consider myself to be a pretty nice dude. But the idea of jumping on top of a Nazi to save his life from a crowd of angry people has never crossed my mind. This kind of crazy enemy love is called agape in the Greek language. This love isn’t ‘OMG, I love Kim Kardashian’s new purse.’ Agape is God’s redemptive love for all of humankind.

The writer of John 3:16 says, God so loved the world (loved is agape in Greek) … A better translation in English is actually ‘God so loved the cosmos.’ This means that God loves the WHOLE FREAKING UNIVERSE!”

David concludes, “I was introduced to the concept of agape in college reading a sermon from Martin Luther King Jr.: ‘An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, agape is the love of God operating in the human heart.’”

Thank you, David! Thank you Dr. King! Recall that Dr. King received his inspiration and courage from the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ whose life-giving, light-giving Good Friday/Easter love is the only power able to shake this fearful world free from the dominion of darkness – signaling a new day of grace. And grace changes everything!

O day full of grace that now we see appearing on earth’s horizon;
God shine for us now in this dark place;
your name on our hearts emblazon. *