I don't think I've had a "membership drive" for this blog in a long time, if I ever did. Anyhow, I have no mugs, t-shirts or any other swag to dole out. Just recommend the blog if you think that it may help someone.
In today’s passage from the OT Book of Wisdom, written only 100 years before the birth of Christ, the sacred author praises God’s mercy: a truth so profound, so fundamental, so easy to ignore. “For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.” It is worth repeating.
It is not only worth repeating, but it is also worth writing down and sticking to your medicine cabinet or somewhere else where you can look at it regularly. Why? I can invoke the news stories of bullying, suicides, addictions, assaults, murders, and so much more that goes on in this world—this world that urges us to conclude the opposite of what the scriptural sage affirms. “What kind of world are we living in? In the midst of it all, where is the ‘loving God’ of the Bible?”
God customarily keeps silence in the face of human wrongdoing. We consider this unbearable, as well, and to an extent we may be right. Raise your voice to God in objection to the world’s evils; shake your fist at Him if you wish. Yet it doesn’t help us or help the cause of divine mercy if we don’t soon move through that, in faith, toward acceptance of what we cannot change and repentance of our own wrongs.
Perhaps the best form of repentance is forward-looking. While it may seem to some people that every generation is worse than the one before it, we can say for sure that every generation is younger than the one before it; younger, and therefore in need of a formation in things divine, like mercy, and repentance, and justice, and generosity. They yearn, as much as their elders do, to believe that God loves all things and “doesn’t make junk,” including themselves!
For us rational creatures, that divine love exercises certain demands upon our attitudes and conduct. We can’t bask in the love of God and at the same time hurt ourselves, treat our bodies or others’ bodies as playthings, or care little for worship, praise, and contrition. When people start to indulge in things that oppose the love of God, they are really shooting themselves in the foot--denigrating their God-given dignity. We know that well, and shouldn’t be afraid to share our experiences with those who might learn something from them.
Naught else but love would motivate such an outreach—a love like Our Savior’s love for Zacchaeus. Here’s a man who has dealt in extortion for most of his adult life, and here’s Jesus who sees in his heart an inkling of distaste for the way he’s been living. And here’s Jesus calling Zacchaeus to join His company! Calling him out of his prison of self into a freedom and joy he couldn’t have begun to consider before! That’s the kind of love that motivates people to look out for each other amid the realities of life, to become involved before there’s a problem so that, when there’s a problem, they—or we—have someone we can go to in order to hear from human lips that God loathes nothing that He has made.
Show someone today how the loving God of the Scriptures is relevant in their world. Even if you are gently inviting them to repentance, you are showing them more love than they might have experienced before: someone cares enough to suggest that there’s a better path for their lives. At the proper time, they may thank you for it; but even if they don’t, you’ll have a little more peace in your life, because, like Jesus, you have “come to seek and to save what was lost.”