"Israel loved Joseph more than all his other sons...but his brothers, seeing how his father loved him more than all his other sons, came to hate him..." (Genesis 37)
The problem with resentment is that it is not so clear-cut. Resentment is not spectacular and it is not overt. It can be concealed by the appearance of a holy life. Resentment is so pernicious because it sits very deep within us; in our hearts, in our flesh, in our bones. Often we aren't even aware that it is there.
God made a covenant with us. The word covenant means "coming together." God wants to come together with us. In many of the stories in the Hebrew Bible, we see that God appears as a God who defends us against our enemies, protects us against dangers, and guides us to freedom. God is God-for-us. When Jesus comes, a new dimension of the covenant is revealed. In Jesus, God is born, grows to maturity, lives, suffers, and dies as we do. God is God-with-us. Finally, when Jesus leaves he promises the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Spirit, God reveals the full depth of the covenant. God wants to be as close to us as our breath. God wants to breathe in us, so that all we say, think and do is completely inspired by God. God is God-within-us. His covenant reveals to us how much God loves us.
I had the opportunity, yesterday, to participate in a conversation with Paul Bennetts, senior Pastor of Life Church in Christchurch, NZ. Paul discussed in depth the traumatization of this beautiful city on the east coast of the southern NZ island, following the three earthquakes that have hit NZ since last September. Paul revealed that, although many church buildings have collapsed as a result of the devastating effects of the most recent quake, the Church is still the Church. Meeting together on lawns, giving thanks to God and recognizing that we really do need each other -- to begin the healing process and long-term restoration of people and lives. Paul told how the song, "In Christ Alone" and Psalm 46, have taken on new, fresh and empowering meaning for those experiencing this challenge and God's covenant -- God-within-us.
Paul has asked for prayer ... for the fears rising up in the communities (fear of more earthquakes, etc.) ... for the children who are in shock and traumatized by this event ... for the Mom's dealing with their children, the aftershocks, wanting protection ... for God's mercy and grace for the city of Christchurch ... that more people will become aware of God's presence and begin a relationship with Him.
Link to Life Church in Christchurch, NZ (click here)
Red Cross appeal (click here)
Hi! I'm the worship director at Cedardale Church, and the webservant that maintains this website.