Beloved in Christ,
You may have heard that our family grew this summer with the addition of Lucy, a 20-month-old Boston Terrier. Our children had been wanting a dog for years, the girls especially. I don’t suppose they are unlike most children their age in that regard!
So, Christina and I had been keeping our eye out for a while. Researching different breeds, talking to veterinarian friends and other dog owners, contacting breeders, and so on. We had some idea of what we were looking for.
Then one Wednesday night Christina and I were watching a show and she was scrolling through Kijiji ads for dogs. Suddenly there she was, Lucy. The next day I hopped in the car and drove down to Islington and Dundas to see her. And, needless to say, I came home with a dog and a few supplies packed into our 2009 Toyota Corolla.
But the best part was surprising the children. When they came home Christina led them out back, pulled out a few presents that she had wrapped for Grace’s birthday a few days later, and had the children open them. A set of dog bowls and a leash. They looked at each other quizzically as if to say, “What in the world are we going to do with these?”
Then Christina cracked open the back door and shouted inside, “Hey Jonathan, bring out that other thing.” Out came Lucy and I and the children, once their brains processed what was happening, exploded with joy. It was a great day.
I tell you that story because it provides a glimpse into the joy of the gospel. In the Collect for the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity we pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, they Son, our Lord. Amen.
Did you catch that? Read it again, slowly, and let it sink in. Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve.
There are no limits to God’s love. To love, says Aquinas, is to will the good of the other. To proclaim that we are loved by God is to say that God wills our good and nothing but our good. God is entirely in our favour, wanting only what is good for us, wanting only to bring us more fully alive by his grace. There is not a hint of self-interest in God’s love. That is simply his nature.
He is always and entirely more ready to hear than we are to ask and it is his custom to give more than we could ever even desire. And indeed he has done just this. He has given us his Son for the remission of our sins and has planted his love into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” How. Much. More!
So let us draw near! Let us ask! Let us be filled! Let us rejoice and be glad in him!
God bless you church. See you on Sunday, 10:30am at Craighurst Park.