God, you are compassionate.  You love the marginalized and the mistreated.  Your heart is heavy for the lostness of the world and from the beginning you have longed to reconcile us with you.  Through the cross of Christ you have saved us.  Through your Spirit you hold us up.  With your grace and love and power you quiet my heart and hear my cries.  You lift me up and hold me up and sing and dance with me for this great union celebration that you created us for.  You want me, God.  You see me and you want me.  You want us all!

As I read through Exodus 20-23 I saw your love and mercy and longing for your people.  I saw your heart of mercy and your sadness at our sinful lostness.  While you spoke to Moses on the mountain, this man who loved and obeyed you and listened to you, you could see the lostness of all the people camped at the foot of the mountain.  In their lostness they were building a false alter and a false god image because they were so afraid to be in direct relationship with you.  They were afraid of your awesome power and glory.  They were afraid of the might of your battle ready heart.  When they should have been like Moses and just trusted you.  

Lord, fear had gripped the Israelites.  And fear had lead them to sin.  Lord, deliver me daily from fear and shame.  Lord, let me never fear the judgement of your wrath because Jesus has already taken all that judgement on himself.  Let me walk in fresh confidence of your love and your mercy and your salvation!  You quiet my soul and shield my heart.  You fight my battles and win every time!  You are so good, God!  In you there is no fear or judgement, only mercy and love.  You saw the evil in my heart and still you loved me.  You saw the evil in the heart of Israel and still you loved them!  

You pronounced judgement on sin already!  It leads to death!  But you took on that judgement yourself! You gave the great sign of your Godhood after three days in the grave!  You called the Israelites to fellowship with you (Exodus 19) knowing that their fear would keep them from you.  Yet still you called them to you, with a warning to prepare themselves through the act of prophetic cleansing of their clothes and body.  You said you wanted to meet with them.  But they were too afraid.  But Moses obeyed your simple requests and you met with him, just as you longed to meet with them all.  

God, you long to meet with all of us now!  You long for us to trust you and meet you on the mountain.  But now the mountain is not a mountain of judgement, but a mountain of salvation!  We are not called to be your slaves, but to be your sons! (Hebrews 3:5-6)  Thank you that through Jesus we are washed clean and adopted into your family.  In you there is no fear of judgment any longer!  We don’t need to stand from afar and hope and wonder!  We stand in your presence and are consumed with the fire of love, not condemnation!  God, you are so good!

Help me to always know that you are good!  You see me and you smile!  You laugh with me, Jesus!  You laugh at my enemies because they have no power!  Lord, remind me not to give them power!  Hold me tight and fight my battles for me!  Be my strong tower!  Be my very present help in times of trouble!  I will rest in your arms.  You are the best at hugs and snuggles.  I will rest in those arms of salvation and love.  I will rest and be free.

Bring hope to the hopeless again, oh Lord!  Show them your beautiful gift of salvation through the faces and actions of the saints, your children who have heard your voice when you called!  Lord, let the world who is frightened find the comfort of your mercy and love.  Let them know the joy of your salvation that they may find peace instead of the fear of judgement that this world brings.  The knowledge of good and evil brought with it the knowledge that evil needs to be punished, that justice can be given to the victims of that evil.  The knowledge of good, however, helps us to trust in your unfailing love and power to forgive.  Thank you God, that even in the Garden you took what the enemy intended to harm us with and gave us hope.

I choose hope today, God.  I choose peace in and comfort in the arms of your constant embrace.  Amen.

One thought on “I Choose Hope

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