Friday, April 1, 2016

Bless this mess

Last week, we made the case that the first thing we need to know about God before we can move forward and get to know him better is that he's not mad at us. God is not characteristically an angry God who enjoys smiting those who cross him, but is rather a loving God that desires a relationship with his creation. 
So God isn't mad at us, but who is "us?" Who is God not mad at? Surely there are some who aren't included, right?
God desires a relationship with us, and that relationship is not contingent upon our spiritual condition. He wants to reconcile with us now, even if we're still all messed up.

God's not just looking for the really knowledgable folks or the really humble folks or the really spiritual folks. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

He wants to adopt ALL of us into his family, even if we're broken and confused. He desires connection with all of us, even if we're judgmental and arrogant. He wants to bring us all together under the same tent so we can shed those old identities and adopt new ones. He wants to heal and enlighten and humble and soften and embrace us, and he wants us to become the kind of people who can do the same for others.

So, who is us? It seems that "us" is everyone who is humble enough to enter this tent. It is anyone who is willing to draw together with God's varied and beloved creations, in all their messiness. It is anyone willing to set aside their opinions, and embrace people who look different, who smell different, who vote different, who believe different, in order to form a new kind of family.

It is messy yet beautiful, like a child's finger painting or a jazz improvisation. It is chaotic yet orderly, like a coral reef or a beef stew. But imagine if we removed the mess and the chaos. How boring would that be?

Pastor Ed
Series Title: 7 THINGS
Message Title: God Isn’t mad at you
Date: 3/27/16
Main Passages: Romans 8:31, Jeremiah 31:3-5, Zephaniah 3:17, John 3:16
Some questions for reflection or group study (or please comment on them, below):
  • What role (if any) did fear play in your faith, growing up?
  • So, if God's not mad at us, is it okay for us to be mad at him? Explain.
  • If you always thought God was mad at you, has this changed? In what way?
  • If we shouldn't use "God's gonna getcha!" to reach people, what should we use?

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