(You can watch the video of this Sermon of Word and Image here.)
Our God is a God of Mercy.
The Source of all Creation
The Root of all Being
The force behind the unfurling and flourishing of all life and form
The One who calls the cosmos into being, calls it Good.
The One who calls each of us into being, calls us Good. And calls us to the Good.
And when we humans turn from that call
And turn on one another
The blood cries up from the stones
And grieves our Creator to the core.
Yet our Creator, our God
Never ceases to call us Good
Never ceases to call us to the Good, to lure us in every moment toward the possibility of fullness
How ever it is uniquely ours to express it
In whatever circumstances happen to find ourselves.
In our enjoyment, in our struggle,
In the blossoming of purpose, in our aimlessness and sin
Our Creator, our God
Always embraces us – and all beings – as we are.
Root of our root
Heart of our heart
The God of Christ is enfleshed and embodied
With us in our condition
From wedding feasts to funerals
Through storms at sea and in the silences of the wilderness
Beckoning us with the truth that sets us free
Free from the forces that crucify
Free to join the dance of resurrected life on earth as it is in heaven.
The God of Christ embraces and absorbs our suffering
And reveals the hell realms we make for ourselves,
The hell realms we make for others.
Christ casts into harsh relief the consequences of our choices
The cycles of suffering that imprison us
And the Love of God burns those chains away
Not so that any shall be condemned, but so that all shall be set free.
Christ has revealed that God by Grace grants us release
Release into a Love that does not discriminate, a Mercy that knows no bounds.
As scripture says, “Our savior God intends that all shall be saved and come to a full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4)
Now, many of us have been threatened with nightmare visions of eternal torment
We have been told we are depraved to our depths, sinners writhing in the hands of an angry God. We have been made to feel disgusting at our core, proven by our impure thoughts and imperfect faith, the pain we cause in our strife and our stumbles.
For so many, our understanding of God and of ourselves has been twisted by these fevered invectives, these demon haunted incantations intended to sow fear and guilt, desperation, blind obedience, and vicious self-righteousness.
This is a twisting of the Gospel. This is a twisting of the Gospel into its opposite.
The Good News, the Good News that came through Christ is that God of grace set on setting us all free, the God of infinite Goodness and infinite Love who calls our cosmos into being who calls each of us into being – from nothing – and calls us, calls all of this, Good.
However much we may stray from the Good, we cannot fall from Grace for long. God will call us all home. Again, “Our savior God intends that all shall be saved and come to a full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). All shall be reconciled, all shall be reunited with the Divine Source of all – this we know through the Christ who fills the cosmos.
This is the will of God. And that will shall be done, that will shall be fulfilled in the fullness of time.
By the light of the truth – the burning revelation of Divine self-disclosure – we all shall see that sin is just a chasing after wind, reaping only the whirlwind.
Scripture never speaks of eternal punishment, but of an epoch of reconciling justice, where we must face the consequences of our choices, yes. But face that with Grace always beckoning and embracing us. And that Grace will win. All delusion shall turn to ash and fall away in the fullness of time, for God alone is the Being of all being. God alone is our home. And all shall return, in the fullness of time.
And we can say Yes to this now, Yes to this Amazing Grace. And the sooner we say Yes, the more we spare ourselves unnecessary suffering. And the more we can revel in the light of the Divine, the more we can live into the fullness of ourselves and the fullness of our purpose in this life and beyond
So, I invite us to say Yes, Yes to the truth that sets us free.
Thanks be to God.