Friday, March 25, 2011

The Gospel and God of Love

(thanks to Peter Leithart and many of these thoughts from his book, "The Four")
The Gospel is the Story of Israel and the Gospel writers tell us the story of Israel rejecting Yahweh. Each time God comes, Israel turns from Him. God comes to Israel in Moses, and is rejected. God comes to Israel through priests and kings and prophets, yet Israel refuses to listen to her LORD. God comes to Israel through Joshua, Solomon, Elisha and Jeremiah, and yet Israel rejects the servants of Yahweh. Even when Yahweh comes in the flesh, in person, as the Son, Israel still rejects him.

That is not good news – but that is not the end of the story. The God of Israel does not stop coming. After His servants have been rejecting Him again and again, He still keeps coming and will not give up coming. Israel’s history is a story of a spurned husband who refuses to give up on His bride. His bride spurns Him and finds other husbands, but He woos her back. He is the relentless pursuing Hound of Heaven.

That is the message of the romantic comedy. Yahweh comes in flesh, and is rejected even to the point of being put to death – a horrible, humiliating death. But the resurrection shows that Israel’s God will not let Israel have the final word. He will not let Israel’s rejection stand. He keeps coming back, even after Israel thinks they have killed Him.

This is great good news, the unsettling gospel of God. This Gospel reveals that God is love, and shows us what kind of love God is: He is relentless, faithful, persistent Love. And this Love has pursued You again. He will not cease to come to you. Regardless of whether you had a good week or a bad week – a week of obedience or a week of failure – He is coming again – to You – in this service of worship. He will have you. He will love you. He will wash you and renew you and speak His covenant faithfulness to you. And He will grant you faith to respond in faith – and you will be renewed. So come and worship this God of Love.