In her children’s Bible Sally Lloyd Jones begins with it.
“God wrote ‘I love you’ – he wrote it in the sky and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere… And God put it into words too, and wrote it in a book called ‘the Bible’”
It’s that simple and that complex. God loves you.
That’s good news. That’s the gospel.
But this straightforward message is often clouded over like Mount Rainier. Sitting 14,411 feet above sea level, just south of the Seattle skyline, Mt. Rainier sits in glorious snow-covered splendor day in and day out. On days like today, it can be seen from miles away. But most of the year, the mountain is hidden by the grey gloomy clouds of an overcast Seattle sky. The message of God’s love is like that. It is always there standing tall proud and true. But depending on the circumstances of our lives, workloads we are facing at work, challenges we are having with kids, problems we are having with our health, it becomes distant and obscured.
When this happens it is a true loss, because when this message resonates with our hearts we find it gives us resilience, hope and a solid footing like an anchor in the storm.
Without the gospel we can drift through life tossed by the waves, up one minute and down the next. Modern life comes at us with full force; people killing each other on the news, political leaders revealing their foibles and filling us with dread or rage.
And that is just the stuff “out there”.
There is also the turmoil inside; the weight we keep promising ourselves we will lose, the seeming banality of work, the feelings of inadequacy, the constant worry whether we measure up intellectually, socially, monetarily. If there is nothing on the news to worry us, we are already prepared with a list of other things that is sure to get the job done.
What is the gospel?
The Gospel is that God loves you.
He loves you like a father loves his child (John 16:27), like a hen loves her chicks (Luke 13:34), like a groom loves his bride (Isaiah 62:5).
No matter what clouds may be obscuring your view, we are here to remind you that this news is still true. It stands tall and it will not be removed. “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, …says the LORD who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10).
He wrote it in the clouds and in the stars but he acted it out on the cross. His love is unfailing.