I couldn’t figure out what to say or even where to start with this passage that just goes on and on, so I gave up and thanks to Susie White’s Contemplative Journey blog “Strip down, start running… and never quit” I’ve just put a few miles of Trinity Park on my new ASICS GT 2160’s. My GT 2150’s served me well but too long so that my knees had intimate knowledge of the last 100 miles of pavement. Running in new shoes is like running on air and to be outside in late December by the Trinity River with the sun breaking through the clouds is as good as it gets, even if my diminished lung capacity after a week of coughing meant it was closer to a jog than I care to admit. Paul’s description of the Lord’s lavish love is as good as it gets, even if it does go on a bit. But behind this verbal extravagance is a deep and abiding affection for people who welcomed Paul into their hearts and homes. It is a gift to dear freinds persecuted and hard pressed holding onto the hope Paul describes in such abundance. They are chosen before the foundation of the world, predestined for perfection, adopted as God's own children, desirable objects of God’s affection, sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever for the praise of God’s glory throughout all the ages in accordance with God’s good pleasure and will. You see it’s easy to get carried away when your heart is full, as when one you hold dear is more gracious to you than you deserve and in relationship restored through forgiving love your heart sings even as you weep for the sheer joy of it. It is like the sun banishing the clouds after a week of being sick while new running shoes do what they are supposed to do, protect old knees from too much knowledge of hard surfaces. At least I think that’s what Paul was trying say.