Pastor Jonathan's weekly reflection:
"God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew." Exodus 2:24-25 (ESV)
This is the beginning of the unfolding redemption of God's people, the ball that begins rolling toward the exit from slavery and anticipation of the Promised Land. But its genesis comes long before. In promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Promise to form a people, to set them apart and to bless everyone through them. It was not the potential of the people or their performance, it was God's promise that will deliver.
The people have been heard and now God is acting to save them. Fast forward to us. We now live under the promise fulfilled. Christ has come and provided the ultimate of redemption and we live free from old captors headed to a renewed "promised land" where we will dwell with our king forever. What was once being heard is now being held by the sovereign arms of a gracious God who keeps you not because of your potential, or performance but solely because of his promise.
I used to watch the show Parenthood on NBC a few years ago. I wasn't a consistent fan, but every now and again I would catch an episode. One I remember the most had the patriarch and matriarch of the family working through some marital counseling and the breakthrough comes when the curmudgeon husband finally says "I hear you, and I see you." It was the hearing that was valued, it made all the difference. As I reflected on that episode I thought the hearing is missing something, "and I am holding you, never letting you go because I love you..."
This is what we have in Jesus, in the gospel of his grace and goodness toward us for his glory. Not only are our groans for help heard, they are answered with his holding us in the gospel. Secure as a child in his father's arms. Steady, comforted, protected. And this father will never grow tired, because of the finished work of Christ, we are never let go. What good news to take into our week.
Not only are you heard, in Christ you are held. My prayer for us this week is that we would increasingly sense his holding, that his persistent grace would overwhelm us and give us rest. In Jesus you are held and that is exactly where you are meant to be.
Lord, help us know your hold. Comfort us, heal us, reconcile us, by your grace, in Jesus' name. Amen.