Thursday, January 19, 2017

God Never Gives Up

By Colleen O’Sullivan

Brothers and sisters:  Now our high priest has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises…  I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them upon their hearts.  I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall not teach, each one his fellow citizen and kin, saying, “Know the Lord,” for all shall know me, from least to greatest.  For I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.   (Hebrews:  8:6, 10b-12)

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him.  He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.  (Mark 3:13-15)

My name is carved on the palm of your hand.  Your word, your law, and your covenant promises are etched upon my heart.  You have never forsaken me, and I pray for the grace always to be faithful to you.

Lord, when it comes to loving us, your tenacity never ceases to amaze me.  You gathered us and rescued us from the bonds of slavery.  You said you would be our God and we would be your people.  You led us far from the clutches of Pharaoh, holding before us the promise of a land to call our own.

Were we grateful?  Not particularly.  Had I been in your shoes, I would have thrown in the towel.  We complained about the food.  We grumbled about the rigors of the journey.  We even said we wished we could return to Egypt.  We turned our backs on you and worshiped an idol of our own making.

Did you wash your hands of us?  No.  Did you give up, conclude the whole covenant thing was a bust?  No, you said you were going to make a new covenant with your people.  You said this covenant would be engraved upon our hearts and that we would know from the inside out that you are forever and always our God and that you love us beyond all measure.  You said we would know that we are your precious sons and daughters, members of your family.

You sent your Son to be one of us.  Jesus took upon himself all our ingratitude, our every disordered desire for possessions and power over one another.  As he was nailed to the Cross, Jesus carried on his shoulders the weight of all the times we’ve run far from you, all the times we’ve pretended to belong to some other family with different values.

Your love for us knows no bounds.  You search high and low when we depart to a far country.  However long it takes, when we come to our senses, you are waiting, arms outstretched, to welcome us home.  And then you never bring up our misdeeds again.  Our sins are forgotten when they are forgiven.

Just as you called the Apostles to the ministry of preaching and casting out evil, so you call each of us to some special role within your family.  In spite of our fickle natures and our propensity to sin, you believe we each have something of value to contribute to the family.

There is no love that can rival yours for your children.

Today Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.  If the election results are any indication, about half of us are happy and the other half upset.  For today, however, let us seek to put aside our divisions and unite as Christians in prayer for our new leader and the well-being of our country.  

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