Justin Tucker, LHBC Worship Pastor

Psalm 103:10-13 (ESV)
He does not deal with us according to our sins nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

“How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure”

When I was five years old, my dad bought a 1967 Dodge Coronet from my great-grandmother. It was 318 cubic inches of 2 barrel, 2 door Detroit muscle. That car became his daily driver and our weekend project car. We worked on the car, we talked about faith and life, we dreamed. We mostly dreamed about what the car would look like when we were finally finished. We dreamed about the day that he would hand the keys over to me. As a 16 year old kid, I realized that this car and all the work poured into it was more than just a project…it was a labor of love. He loved that car. Well, the day finally came that he handed me the keys and as I pulled out of the drive he said what became very common as I left, he said, “Don’t wreck my car.”  

One Sunday, after a school choir concert, I was headed home and as I got about 200 yards from the house I hit some broken pavement and loose gravel, spun the car out, and wrapped the rear end around a tree. As I walked to the house to tell my dad that I had “wrecked his car” I started to wonder where I was going to live…if I was going to live. I was genuinely afraid of what was going to happen. My dad loved that car. He was more worried about it when it left the driveway than he was me. I knocked on the front door, he opened it and I fell apart. All I could get out was that I had wrecked the car and I was sorry. Dad wrapped his arms  around me and said, “Justin, it’s just a car. We can replace a car, I can’t replace you. You’re okay and that’s all that matters.” I was sure that I had committed the unforgivable sin by wrecking that car but Dad didn’t deal with me the way I completely expected to be dealt with, he showed me compassion and assured me that he loved me.

In Ephesians 3:18, Paul prays that we would have the power “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” I believe that God is using this song to answer this prayer in each of our lives. As Paul prays, he states that we are “rooted and established in love” (3:17). This foundation in Him begins when we accept the good news of God’s love in Christ and put our trust in God to save us through Christ. At that moment, we base our lives on the foundation of God’s love for us. Also, we need to grow in our knowledge and experience of this love. Paul continues praying that we, “being rooted and established in love, may we have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (3:18). No matter how much you understand this love and have experienced it, there is still so much more. It’s a never-ending journey! What I appreciate most about this song is that it connects the love of God to Jesus Christ, specifically, to his death on the cross. “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”  turns God’s love into something real and not something that’s just fluff.  The lyrics draw us to the center of God’s love in Christ, which is the cross. By focusing on the cross and the sacrifice of God’s only Son we are able  “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me in a way that I could never earn or deserve. Thank you for showing me Your compassion, mercy, and grace by not dealing with me based on my mistakes. Thank you for your Son, Jesus, and His sacrifice on the cross. Help me to lean into the growth in knowledge of Your love in each and every experience. I love you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Isaiah 6:8
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”