Sunday, September 8, 2013

Knowing God's Intention

Often we Christians can read the Old Testament as if there were no New Testament. Take today's first reading.

Who can know God’s counsel,or who can conceive what the LORD intends?

The answer is, we can. That's the good news. The Letter to the Hebrews says it best

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets;in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe

We do not have indirect contact with God. We believe that God became incarnate, lived among us, Jesus Christ. We believe we receive no less than him in the Eucharist.

We believe that the Holy Spirit, who is also God, is pour into us at baptism, and we become his temple his dwelling place on earth.

And as for God's intention, when I was a little boy in the Baptist Church the first bible verse we had to memorize was John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave* his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

Or even more clearly 1 Tim 2:4

This is good and pleasing to God our savior,who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

This is what God intends. We can know it. We do know it. God intends for everyone of us, every human being to have eternal life. And God has done and will continue to do everything necessary to try and get us to accept this gift. Because the one thing God will not do is take away our free will.

Sometimes this means that God allows us to fall flat on our face. He, like any good parent, allows us to suffer the consequences of our bad decisions. Like gold purified in fire, God allows us to be purified through sharing in the cross of Christ, but the intention is always the same to strengthen us, to draw us closer to himself, to make us one with him, to make us nothing less than saints, his sons and daughters.

Who can conceive what the LORD intends? We can. God himself has become one of us and made absolutely clear his intention. Only one word is needed from us, yes. Today and every day say yes to the will of God.