My reflection on the British banking system and on today's children culminates in a passage that we were reading this morning. Barclay (1975) in ending his daily commentary on Romans 3:19-26 says “the way to a right relationship with God lies, not in a frenzied, desperate, doomed attempt to win acquittal by our performance; it lies in the humble, penitent acceptance of the love and the grace which God offers us in Jesus Christ” (p 59).
God in his justice accepts us, the sinner, not as a criminal, but as a son whom he still loves. Despite what we do and the number of times that we break his heart, he continues to love us and reach out to us. We shut him out by failing to recognise his love and rejecting the forgiveness that he offers us each day. Despite all this, he continues to love.
As a grandfather, I seek that my grandchildren will come to us seeking our help to learn and grow. We know that they wont always achieve what we would like and often fail to satisfy their own goals. With learning to ride, we accept that they will fall off but we help them up and set them off again for another attempt. With console games, they get upset when beaten or they don't achieve what they wanted, you sit down with them and encourage them that they haven't achieved what they wanted this time but with practice, they will get better. When they don't do what we want or they fail to live up to our expectations, we don't reject them, we show them love and endeavour to help them understand. Hopefully, we treat them as we would like them to become offering encouragement and support.
God's relationship with us is the same. He reaches out to us by not rejecting us for what we are but seeing the potential in us to be what he desires for us. He treats us as he wants us to be so that we might learn more about him.
Barclay, W. (1975). The letter to the Romans (revised ed.). Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.