The Undiluted Gospel

Sometimes we see it. The undiluted gospel. It happened to me on Tuesday afternoon at 7 while talking with one of the most gifted lady in the music industry, Jessica McFaddin. Mark and Jess have been expecting a baby and I followed everything from the day i heard about it. Knowing that they never succeeded to be pregnant before, now was the right moment for it and I wanted to be there for them and pray over them. So, wee were expecting the arrival of Linda.
Linda has been loved and prayed for and cherished and longed for from the moment we heard the news that Jess was pregnant. For almost nine months I have watched the full resources of two large, extended families in action blessing a child that we had not even seen.
Lavish, excessive, self-giving, endless, overflowing love.  Caroline had not done one thing to earn any of it, and could not possibly do one thing to change our hearts.
As I held her for the first time I thought of Ephesians 1:3-5 and of they way the apostle Paul thinks of the Father’s heart.
A thousand hallelujahs to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. With eager and overflowing joy, He lavished all the family resources of heaven upon us in Christ, just as He planned it when He dreamed of us ages before He called forth the cosmos. Long ago He made us the apple of His eye and dedicated Himself to bring us into the family to be face to face with Him forever in Jesus.
I suspect we should all park our emotions here for a long, long while, and let our souls take a bath in the Father’s love, but there is something more.
I first saw it in John’s Gospel in the story of the transformation of water into wine. Have you ever wondered why Jesus asked the servants to get the water?  Why not skip the water and just make the wine?
John tells us that in this event he beheld the glory of Jesus. He saw who Jesus really is as the Father’s eternal Son.  And he saw Jesus including the servants in his blessing of others.
To borrow from the great Karl Barth, ‘God refuses to be God without us.’ Inclusion is the family secret of the universe.
As Jesus said, “the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that He Himself is doing,” and “I only do what I see my Father doing.”  They always dream and work and bless together.  It is the divine way of being. And the Father, Son and Holy Spirit always include us in what they are dreaming and doing and saying, in their lavish love and creativity, in their music and laughter and joy, and redeeming genius.
Like you and me and every human being on earth, Linda originated in the heart of the blessed Trinity long before the world began, and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would not create her without Mark and Jess’ participation, and absolutely insists on including us in blessing her with Their family resources.
Our participation is God’s joy, and it is the mystery, the light of life, the undiluted gospel!

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.


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