Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kindly Disposed Toward Us

In today's gospel, Jesus is speaking on prayer, and he offers that no parent would give a child who asked for food a scorpion instead. Then he adds, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Many Christians are familiar with the phrase from 1 John, "God is love."And yet Christians have often constrained God's love in significant ways. Over the centuries, a myriad of Christian doctrines have explained why this group or that group is outside of God's love. Some of these statements make God sound puny and weak, or else not very loving at all. God cannot save those who don't profess Jesus? Cannot? What is it that keeps God from doing so?

Most of us would not withhold love from a child who did not get the apology formula just right. Most of us would not withhold love from a child who did not apologize at all. We would continue to love him or her, hoping and working for reconciliation. Reconciliation might require the child to respond in certain ways, but our love would remain regardless. Are surely God is more loving than we are.

At the moment I'm not worrying about the details of reconciliation or salvation, as important as those are for living into God's love. I am simply remembering, as we all need to do from time to time, that God is more kindly disposed toward us than we have ever been toward anyone, even those we love the most. And that's pretty reassuring.

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