This is one of my favorite descriptions of God:
“the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
It comes from Exodus chapter 34, verse 6. History, and our own lives, bear out that this is a true description. If there is a God, and he is not compassionate, slow to anger and faithful, then surely humanity would have been destroyed by now.
Since, well, the beginning, we’ve done awful things – to one another and to ourselves – which bring death. Not just physical death – though the thousands of violent wars we’ve fought would certainly show us that is sometimes the case. No, we also invite spiritual death by the ways we treat ourselves and one another. In God’s “economy” – the way the world works – when we do and say and even think things that aren’t in line with life and light and goodness and flourishing, it brings the opposite in very real ways. We know this and we’ve all felt it.
But God, in his compassionate, gracious, patient, loving faithfulness does not leave us alone in this broken and divided state. No, he loves us so much that throughout history he has made a way for us to be restored to right relationship – with one another and with him. His ways are just – and therefore payment is required to atone for our dark and broken ways – otherwise the whole thing would be unjust. But here’s the good news: God provided the payment, because he’s not only just – he’s compassionate, gracious, loving and faithful.
By the sacrifice of Jesus, God shows us the full measure of his love. Rest in this today. Though death of every kind may seem like it’s all around us and even inside of us – life abundant has burst forth like the brightest of lights – and the darkness cannot overcome it.
Grace and Peace,