Sometimes we see it. The undiluted gospel. It happened to me on Tuesday afternoon at 5:04 with the arrival of our first Grandchild, Caroline Elizabeth Moore.
Caroline has been loved and prayed for and cherished and longed for from the moment we heard the news that Laura was pregnant. For almost nine months I have watched the full resources of two large, extended families in action blessing a child that we had not even seen.
Lavish, excessive, self-giving, endless, overflowing love. Caroline had not done one thing to earn any of it, and could not possibly do one thing to change our hearts.
As I held her for the first time I thought of Ephesians 1:3-5 and of they way the apostle Paul thinks of the Father’s heart.
A thousand hallelujahs to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. With eager and overflowing joy, He lavished all the family resources of heaven upon us in Christ, just as He planned it when He dreamed of us ages before He called forth the cosmos. Long ago He made us the apple of His eye and dedicated Himself to bring us into the family to be face to face with Him forever in Jesus.
I suspect we should all park our emotions here for a long, long while, and let our souls take a bath in the Father’s love, but there is something more.
I first saw it in John’s Gospel in the story of the transformation of water into wine. Have you ever wondered why Jesus asked the servants to get the water? Why not skip the water and just make the wine?
John tells us that in this event he beheld the glory of Jesus. He saw who Jesus really is as the Father’s eternal Son. And he saw Jesus including the servants in his blessing of others.
To borrow from the great Karl Barth, ‘God refuses to be God without us.’ Inclusion is the family secret of the universe.
As Jesus said, “the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that He Himself is doing,” and “I only do what I see my Father doing.” They always dream and work and bless together. It is the divine way of being. And the Father, Son and Holy Spirit always include us in what they are dreaming and doing and saying, in their lavish love and creativity, in their music and laughter and joy, and redeeming genius.
Like you and me and every human being on earth, Caroline originated in the heart of the blessed Trinity long before the world began, and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit would not create her without Kyle and Laura’ participation, and absolutely insists on including us in blessing her with Their family resources.
Our participation is God’s joy, and it is the mystery, the light of life, the undiluted gospel.