A recovering alcoholic was introduced to speak at a community meeting. “Hi,” he said. “My name is Bob and I am an alcoholic. What’s your problem?”
His was an invitation to honesty.
Who takes center stage in the story of God and His people? The prophet Jeremiah looked back on forty years of work and saw that he had been a failure. David was an accomplice to murder and an absolute moral failure. Moses found leadership of the people more than he could manage. Samuel and Eli had sons that were totally unworthy of being their successors. The disciples of the Lord followed Him for three years then stumbled at the critical hour. The bible is full of stories like these because, to put it quite plainly, the gospel is for losers.
Failure is not an option for the winners and self-promoters in life. They have disdain for weakness and contempt for those who cannot make the cut. But this is not the way with God and His people. Time and time again the good news that breaks in upon the folks in the bible is that in the midst of their failures, the steadfast love and faithfulness of God remains.
Most people are minimally talented, struggle with managing even the baselines of living and often fail to meet their goals – which may have been unrealistic to begin with. The world sweeps such people aside but God does not.
When we run up against our limitations or even fail badly in the business of living, the Good Shepherd does not forsake the lowly, the weak, the one who fails. In fact. He seeks them out, embraces them in His arms. God has tipped His hand, opened His heart in Jesus Christ and says, ‘You who are most aware of your need do not be afraid to cry out for help. For I do not forsake those whom I love, the work of my hands.”
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”