Good news is always very energising. It is food for the soul. Even in these days through which we pass, those simple acts of kindness resonate in our hearts and lift our spirits.
The Lectionary readings for this First Sunday after Trinity are packed full of good news! The Old Testament reading places us in the time of Moses, about 3500 years ago. The moment of wandering for the people he led, brought them to a stopping point where God spoke to Moses from the mountain. At one point, God makes this simple, but profound statement;….’indeed, the whole earth is mine.’ Hold that phrase in your mind and allow the enormity of this simple statement to wash into your consciousness.
We can add a further insight from the Psalm; ‘Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness…’ The physical creation responding to its creator! Then further reassureance, towards the end of the Psalm that, ‘The Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting.’ Let those simple words be balm for your soul. The generosity of the Creator is offered to all without exception.
Moving on to the reading from Romans, and the pen of the Apostle Paul. He pours out his excitement….’we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand.’ Grace is a powerful and many layered word which tries to define the indescribable love of God. It is without limit. When I first understood God’s grace towards me, I wept. Paul describes it beautifully….’hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.’
Let’s just hang on that word, grace. It is essentially something given freely for the benefit of another; simply, ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. The overflowing goodness from the heart of the Creator to the creation. The end of the second reading adds this insight..’But God proves his love for us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us.’ Do give yourself a moment or two to let these words to plant themselves within your soul.
I have heard some pretty harrowing confessions in my 35 years of ministry and particularly during my years as a prison chaplain. I could never have continued if I did not profoundly feel the overwhelming grace of God towards all people and the creation.
Sometimes it is immensely difficult, to remain positive, particularly in these days we inhabit. But I always listen for the voice of Jesus and those words he spoke to the disciples as he sent them out into the world; ‘As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near…’
Please be assured of my prayers for you as you take your own steps on your journey in this difficult time.
The Lord give you grace and peace and the profound hope of his love.