“Jesus announced at the outset that He had come “to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” (Luke 4:18)
Open the Gospels at random; on almost every page we see Him caring for people who suffer—socially, spiritually, and physically. He touches people considered polluted and unclean (Matt. 8:3, 9:25) and feeds the hungry. (Matt 14:13-21)
What is your favorite story of Jesus? I suspect it shows the Son of God reaching out to embrace or offer hope to someone on the margins—the leper (Matt.8:1-3), the hated Samaritan (John 4:7-10, the accused and scandalous sinner (Matt. 21:31, Luke 7:27-50, Luke 15:1-10, John 8:2-12), or the national enemy (Matt. 8:5-13). That kind of grace is amazing.
Try writing down every time He praises or heals or eats with an outsider, and you will run low on ink before you leave Luke.
…Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has taught us that Jesus came to show “us who and what God our Eternal Father is like, how completely devoted He is to His children in every age and nation.”
Paul says God is “the Father of [all] mercies, and the God of all comfort.”If you see Him differently, please keep trying.
…When prophets and apostles talk of covenants, they aren’t like coaches yelling out from (red velvet) bleachers, telling us to “try harder!” They want us to see our covenants are fundamentally about relationshipsand can be a cure for spiritual face blindness. They are not rules to earn His love; He already loves you perfectly. Our challenge is to understand and shape our life to that love.
…to serve in this Church is to stand in the river of God’s love for His children. This Church is a work party of people with picks and shovels trying to help clear the channel for the river of God’s love to reach His children at the end of the row.
Whoever you are, whatever your past, there is room for you in this Church. Grab a pick and shovel and join the team. Help carry His love to His children, and some of it will splash on you.
Let us seek His loving face, His covenant embrace, and then join arm in arm with His children, and together we will sing “Redeemer of Israel”:
Restore, my dear Savior,
The light of thy face;
Thy soul-cheering comfort impart;
And let the sweet longing
For thy holy place
Bring hope to my desolate heart.
May we seek His loving face and then be vessels of His mercy to His children. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”