"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Eros Kind of Love

My oldest son and I had a lively conversation Saturday night over his Billy Barou and my Close Talker. (For those of you who don’t know the lingo, we were at Moe’s Southwest Grill). We were discussing the name for the newly renovated youth room at his church. He thought about “EPIC,” borrowing the idea from Dr. Leonard Sweet who believes that if any church is to survive and do ministry in a 21st century world with 22nd century kids, it must have these 4 elements: it must be “Experiential, Participatory, Image-Rich, and Connectional.” EPIC.

When Charles looked up the meaning of “epic,” he found the definition exhilarating – especially if it’s to be used for a youth facility. An epic pertains to “a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated…” It can also mean, “heroic; majestic; impressively great.” But what really caught his attention was the mirror image of the Latin word “epic.” To him it looked like eros the Greek word for passionate love. And so when he told me that he was considering naming the room “Eros” instead of “Epic,” I gave a quick grimace and said, “Uh, I don’t think that will fly with these teen's parents.”

For some reason, we, myself included, have restricted our understanding of eros to romantic or erotic love, limited to the physical activity between two human beings, when in truth it’s about passion. We can be passionate about a lot of stuff. Even penguins. But when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires – passions, if you will – of our heart. It’s that thing that gets implanted in our beings and conceived in our spirits that makes us want to follow dreams or do exploits that other people would think irresponsible. It's that thing that makes us leave friends and family to give medical aid in Africa. Or to give up a large 6-figure salary to go into the ministry.

No one was more passionate about life than Jesus. No one had a greater God-ordained passion. In fact, this week we commemorate the final chapter of His earthly life, and what do we call it? The Passion. You see, discovering a passion, something worth dying for, is what makes life worth the living. For Jesus, that was you.

So maybe “Eros” isn’t such a bad name for a youth room after all. But for the record, maybe he still ought to go with “Epic.” After all, my Hero exhibited great passion.

Just an ordinary moment.

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