Is it fair that ‘Us Scots’ have a worldwide reputation for being stingy, tight-fisted, mean and slow to share? Is it fair that, in some circles, God has such a penny-pinching reputation too?
I’ve been reflecting on how overly generous and extravagant God is in nature and in scattering seeds of Love and Good News in Jesus Christ. As in the parable of the farmer throwing and sowing seeds everywhere, like the dandelion seeds of summer and overabundance of autumn conkers, God never stops sharing. Trouble is we can be slow to receive and respond to God’s prodigious generosity.
I’m seeing Jesus’ engagement with the rich young ruler in a new light. Previously I’ve protected myself from Christ’s challenge to this aspiring follower of Jesus with the excuse that I am sure of going to Heaven through the wonderful gift of eternal life through faith in all Jesus has done for me in His Life, Death & Resurrection. But now I hear Jesus asking me “What is it that you are withholding from me Neil? What stops you from following me more closely and giving me your all?”
Sr. Margaret Halaska’s poem ‘Covenant’ illustrates this approach well”
The Father knocks at my door, seeking a home for his son:
“Rent is cheap,” I say
“I don’t want to rent. I want to buy,” says God.
“I’m not sure I want to sell, but you might come in to look around.”
“I think I will,” says God.
“I might let you have a room or two.”
“I like it, says God. I’ll take the two. You might decide to give me more some day.
I can wait, says God.”
“I’d like to give you more, but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.”
“I know,” says God, “but I’ll wait. I like what I see.”
“Hm, maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.”
“Thanks,” says God, “I’ll take it. I like what I see.”
“I’d like to give you the whole house but I’m not sure” –
“Think on it,” says God. “I wouldn’t put you out. Your house would be mine and my son would live in it. You’d have more space than you’d ever had before.”
“I don’t understand at all.“
“I know,” says God, “but I can’t tell you about that. You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let him have the whole house.”
“A bit risky”, I say.
“Yes,” says God, “but try me.”
“I’m not sure – I’ll let you know.”
“I can wait,” says God. “I like what I see.“
I’ve just identified one particular thing that I’ve held too tightly to myself, a room I barred Jesus from. I know there are other rooms still to open up, but God graciously tends to come into one room at a time. What room are you being called to open next in response to God’s extravagant Grace, Mercy & Love for you in His Son?