At times as I read about God in the scriptures, I can envision him primarily as a great and mighty God who does not tolerate any “funny business”; he does not “suffer fools gladly” as the saying goes. It’s a pretty intimidating thought and can cause a certain “quaking in my boots”. Yet that is a very incomplete description of God. He is certainly mighty and all powerful, but there’s much more to say about him.
Last Saturday’s reading from Matthew’s gospel speaks to another vital aspect of our Lord. It says, “Jesus went around …curing every disease and illness…at the sight of the crowds his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt. 9:35-10:8)
What a beautiful description of the tenderness of the Lord for all of us. When he sees us in our needs and sorrows and helplessness and sin, he is moved with pity. He doesn’t come to us with a hammer like an angry tyrant. He comes with pity and tenderness and a resolve to not leave us in our helplessness. I find that so consoling. It brings hope to every situation. One of my favorite passages from the book of Hebrews amplifies this truth …”for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.”(Hebrews 4:15) Jesus knows what it’s like to live in this valley of tears…he was tempted in every way like us, but without sinning. He knows what it’s like to be “troubled and abandoned”.
Well, for this to make a real difference as we walk thru this valley of tears, we need all the aspects of God. If God was almighty, but hated us…we’re in BIG trouble. On the other hand if God was not almighty and loved us… that wouldn’t help us much either…that’s like someone sympathizing with us because we have no money, but he’s broke too…not much help.
But if God is almighty and he loves us….now that’s really a GREAT thing. He not only pities us and wants to heal us and take care of us…he has the power to do it. Now we’re talking !!!
We are so blessed to have such an “all powerful and all loving God” to take care of us. As we go through Advent preparing for his second coming and remembering his first coming in the stable of Bethlehem, let us rejoice and be happy and be grateful for our wonderful God. This is truly Good News !