Read Any Good Books Lately?
Today the Old Testament reading on the reading guide was the book of Joel – 3 chapters in total. It’s a pretty amazing piece of prophecy with heart-wrenching picture of the consequences coming to a people who have rebelled against God, and it is also a magnificent picture of God’s flamboyant grace, poured out over this same people.
I found myself wondering what it must be like for someone of Abrahamic /Jewish descent to read a book like Joel. Really, reading the Bible must be, for them, a lot like reading a book of your family history. How much wonder and joy and laughter there must be for those who read it with a hunger and curiosity to know their past, and how much horror and sorrow, fear and anguish also.
The book of Joel carries us along through the worst, through to the best…where God’s Grace is on display for the guilty and rebellious Jewish nation. He never gave up on them. Through all the drama, God forgave and forgave and then offered the ultimate forgiveness through wiping out their “blood guilt” through His own blood, shed out of love for them and ultimately us.
We get to read their story and see God in how He related to them, knowing this is how He relates to us also; what a privilege!
What landed on me today is that this same thing is happening in the story of my family. God is in our story showing us His magnificent grace and hopefully we will live in a way so that other people get to "read" our story. I look at all our storylines, as far back and as current as I can and there He is. He is in the wonderful and joyous storylines and He is in our disasters – the horrible, broken and shameful ones. Our stories get to tell His story -- I pray that it will tell well the story of God's flamboyant grace.
Flamboyant, by the way, is one word full of other words to try to capture the meaning of grace because God's grace is exuberant, confident, lively and active, vibrant, elaborate, lavish, bright with light, joyous, and causes a universe-sized celebration when one receives it and lives within it.
God is telling a story of grace through my life, our family's life, and He is telling one through yours. Are you reading it?
P.S. Want to download a reading guide? You can find it here>>