The Bible has one single, one-word theme, a clear vision, one central plot, one overarching motivation: Love! The entire text is the enduring tale of God’s passionate, jealous, all-forgiving, love for His creation, His people. From Eden’s Garden in Genesis, through to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in Revelation, God is a Seeker, a Suitor, a Shepherd, A Savior. He longs for relationship, for intimacy. He, as the Bridegroom, plans to ‘marry’ His Bride, the Church. His story even includes Solomon’s wedding song brimming with such graphic honeymoon sensuality that it has been forbidden reading many times over the centuries as being too erotic. (it is beyond tragic that the Church has largely silenced her voice and ceded the truth of the beauty and sanctity of God’s gift of human sexuality to the lascivious, mongrelized, exploitative version now rampant, now destroying, millions of lives throughout the world). As a parent, God threatens restorational punishment to his people and annihilating punishment to the abusers of His people. As the Adoptive Father, he makes abundant provision for the ‘upbringing’ of his people and for their success in carrying on His Legacy of Love to the world. He has perfectly implemented His Plan.
That Plan, however, falters with His Church, who, in the collective weaknesses of her humanity, has fallen prey to mission drift. The pure simplicity of the Message, the Gospel, this Good News, this open-armed invitation to know God’s love, has been greatly adulterated throughout the centuries. To the crystal-clear headwaters of God’s Stream have been introduced: restrictive ecclesiastical laws, reclusive churchianity, crushing legalism, divisive teachings about God Himself (we call it Theology!), spiritual elitism to the point of flouting God’s, and man’s, laws, sanctioning abuses and immorality, Pharisaism, sectarianism … The Church has depleted much of her vital energy fighting and spitting and hissing over minutia, causing grievous pain and suffering within the Body of Christ and in the world. Mission Drift. And there, in that toxic admixture, stands God with arms still open, beckoning, brooding, heart still aching, calling, wooing. His message? “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG. That’s a call to re-awaken our souls to the vast supply of Love that is ours, and to hear again the Spirit speak our assignment in Heaven’s Work. More tomorrow at 10 AM, 4 PM, 6 PM. PD