Pentecost 11 (2)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Separation anxiety is normal in very young children (those between 8 and 14 months old). Kids often go through a phase when they are "clingy" and afraid of unfamiliar people and places. When this fear occurs in a child over age 6 years, is excessive, and lasts longer than four weeks, the child may have separation anxiety disorder.
Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one -- usually a parent or other caregiver -- to whom the child is attached. Some children also develop physical symptoms, such as headaches or stomachaches, at the thought of being separated. The fear of separation causes great distress to the child and may interfere with the child's normal activities, such as going to school or playing with other children.
What Are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder?
Following are some of the most common symptoms of separation anxiety disorder:
An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the parent or caregiver if the child leaves An unrealistic and lasting worry that something bad will happen to the child if he or she leaves the caregiver Refusal to go to school in order to stay with the caregiver Refusal to go to sleep without the caregiver being nearby or to sleepaway from home Fear of being alone Nightmares about being separated Bed wetting Complaints of physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches, on school days Repeated temper tantrums or pleading
In this section St. Paul emphasizes the love that God has for us and how steadfastly he uses his almighty power to save and preserve us out of love for him. It is a consistent theme in the Bible. (list passages and comment on how God loves the world and his own and what that has lead him to do and the confidence we can have in his unfailing love even in the midst of hardships). We can be confident that no matter what the circumstances, God will uphold his end of the covenant.
And yet, Jesus himself tells us that for some, the last thing they will hear from him are these chilling words. “Depart from me, you who are cursed!” Even though nothing else in all creation can separate us from the love of God, God himself will say to some people – many people on the Last Day, get out of my sight. He will separate them with no chance ever of being united.
Why? In Jesus’ anguished prayer over Jerusalem he tells us. “How often I would have gathered you like a hen gathers her chick, BUT YOU WERE NOT WILLING.” We have a responsibility in the relationship that is between us and God. (see passages)
This is seen in the relationship between God and Israel. How often did they not turn from God and be punished for it? And yet, whenever they repented, he restored them and renewed his covenant with them.
Point: We may think that our greatest spiritual enemy is persecution, the ways of the world, or even the devil and his minions. But the greatest enemy is our own sinful nature for that comes from within. (God is greater than our hearts). We must do constant battle with our own selves and trust in God for his strength during those battles – and they should be battles.