Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom
Pastor

02/25/2018 9:07 PM

On God's Terms

02/25/2018 9:07 PM
02/25/2018 9:07 PM
God said to Noah, “I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)
 
This promise from God to Noah comes at the end of the story of the great flood. It was the flood to end all floods, the flood in which, as the story goes, God wiped out everything God created, sparing only Noah and his family and the creatures Noah could scramble into the ark before the rain, and then this. Here God promises that God is finished starting over and is now ready to stick us all the way.
 
It sounds reassuring, doesn’t it? And it is. It is reassuring. After all, God has been true to that promise ever since, going all the way to the cross in order to keep it. Walter Brueggemann lays it out for us. “God is gracious and merciful,” he says. “God is assuring and affirming and generous and kind. But there is a catch. God is not just gracious; God is gracious toward those whom God wants to be gracious. God is merciful toward those whom God wants to have mercy on. It’s all on God’s terms.”

Let’s not forget that this covenant God makes with Noah directly follows the greatest destruction God ever inflicted on the world. And so we are reminded of both. Yes, God is merciful and God is gracious, but it is all on God’s terms. Everything that has come before us, everything that is in front of us now, and everything that is yet to come is all up to God. It is up to God start to finish. As Brueggemann puts it, “We people of faith do not have life on our terms. Like Noah who walks off of the ark into a whole new future, we too have to decide that we will walk into the future on terms other than our own. We too have to decide if we are willing to live on God’s terms.

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