That God is as promiscuous with his love and grace and mercy as the Bible makes God out to be makes some of us a wee bit upset, I know. But look: this whole bloody, awful, beautiful, confusing, depressing, delightful life and world history is going to climax in a party of universal proportions. Well, that's what the bible teaches anyway. And that's worth getting excited about. Isn't it? That's worth practicing for. Isn't it?
Well, I found someone else who who has been captivated by the image of this party-throwing God on a universal mission of reconciliation, healing forgiveness and celebration. This is how he puts it, and he puts really well:
God is mean, angry and easily provoked. From day 1, we’ve all been a disappointment, and God is–justly–planning to punish us forever. At the last minute, thanks to Jesus stepping in to calm him down, he decides to be gracious.
But don’t do anything to mess that up. Peace is fragile around here.
God is gracious, loving, kind, generous and open-hearted. He rejoices in us as his creations, and is grieved that our sins have made us his enemies and caused so much brokenness and pain. In Jesus, he shows us what kind of God he is and restores the joy that should belong to the children of such a Father. True to his promises, he will bless all people in Jesus, and restore the world by his resurrection victory.You can’t do anything to mess this up. God’s got his heart set on a universe wide celebration...
...We have far too many people selling religion #1. Like the Pharisees, they are the authorized representatives of the grumpy, ticked off, hacked off, very, very angry God who MIGHT….maybe, MIGHT let you off the hook….MAYBE…..IF–and it’s a very big IF–you manage to believe enough, obey enough, get the theology questions right enough, find your way to the right church, follow the right script and get the details right, down to the last “amen.”
...We have far too few Christians who are overwhelmed at the news that God has fired the bookkeepers, sent home the bean counters, dismissed the religion cops and bought party hats for the grumpy old people. The big announcement is this: In Jesus, we discover that God is just sloppy with his amazing grace and completely beyond common sense when it comes to his love. Just to enhance his reputation as the God who know how to throw a party, he’s inviting all of us back home, no tickets necessary, no dress code, for a party that will last, literally, forever. With open bar, and all on him. (Oh calm down Baptists. You can go to another room.)...
...The Father will have his party. Even for the undeserving kid who doesn’t quite get it. Even for the Pharisee-wannabe who is horrified that dad’s not cooperating with the system.
God will be gracious. God will be good. God will be overflowing in love. God will be good to the world. God will bless the nations. God will put his lamb and his Spirit and his loving face at the center of a universe made over in the image of the greatest wedding bash/banquet you could ever imagine...
...Your ticket to this event will most certainly NOT have a denominational name on it. Nor will your seat at the table be determined by your church or your theological team. The grace and goodness of God is going to erase all the lines, boxes, definitions, fences, dictionaries, sermons, announcements and pronouncements ever made. Your Biblical interpretations won’t amount to a hill of beans. God himself, and his good grace, will be the star of the show...
...God’s gracious face makes our religion fall apart. It takes away all our soapboxes. It shuts our mouths, because none of us deserve it and all of us can have it. God’s love and grace are so far beyond our ideas of what they ought to be that none of our ideas about God can survive the good news that comes in Jesus. Jesus is a salvation, grace, goodness, God revolution......Let’s stop it. Let’s stop hiding the face of a gracious God. Let’s show it, sing it, worship in its light, live as if we know that gracious, glorious God as the one the Bible proclaims and who comes to us in Jesus.
Let’s enjoy the face of a gracious God. Now and forever.Preach it, brother! Preach it again! And then preach it one more time! Let's all of us preach it, try to live it and then practice for it. Practice for it? Yes; practice for it. How? By throwing some parties of our own in anticipation of the one that's coming. (First, though, I've gotta kick this sore throat.....)
(You can read the original post, by imonk, in its entirety by clicking here.)