My thoughts (Genese Parker):
I remember a time a few years back when I met with my small group (Oasis) of friends to discuss what we had learned from the sermon that we heard at church the previous Sunday. We were discussing what it means to be in communion with God and how we felt about participating in communion at church. Somehow we ended up talking about what it means to celebrate God’s goodness, and how communion is a way of remembering Christ’s sacrifice. This led me to share about how awesome I think Christ is for what he did. I mean, let’s face it, Christ not only gave his life for humanity, but endured unspeakable torture and pain in the process. Let me be honest, I would not have been able to do it, folks!
When I think about the sacrifice that Christ made, I am amazed! Because I know that God is all knowing, I know that God knew that we as human beings would continue to sin, to hurt one another, and to invent mindboggling ways of doing evil in this world. Yet, Christ died for our sins anyway!
If it were me, I would have been very upset by the knowledge that even though I was going to make such a huge sacrifice, people were going to continue to not only deny the significance of my sacrifice, but to also continue to treat each other with contempt. The idea, that sin would continue on and that people would continue to choose to sin, would have been too much for me to handle. But then again, perhaps that statement points to the flaw in my human-level thinking. As human beings, we are often motivated to do things that we think that people will appreciate. But God was not concerned about that at all. Christ’s sacrifice was given freely, unconditionally, and with no strings attached. God allows us to accept Christ’s sacrifice, or to reject it. We are free to decide for ourselves! Talk about amazing grace!
I say all of this to say that this is the main reason that I know that God is good! God sent God’s Son to do something that I cannot even begin to imagine doing for people, especially those who may not ever appreciate my actions or accept them as a symbol of my love for them.
“Great is the Lord in Zion; [the Lord] is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name — [the Lord] is holy. The King is mighty, he loves justice — you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at [the Lord’s] footstool; [the Lord] is holy.” (Psalm 99:2-5 NIV).
In Psalm 99, the writer describes ways that he knows that God is good. In that same way, I am moved to celebrate God and the amazing grace that was so lovingly poured out on our behalf!
“Exalt the Lord our God and worship at [the Lord’s] holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy” (Psalm 99:9).
Questions of the Day: How do you know that God is good? What words would you use to describe the Creator? Take a moment, and write your own psalm in praise of God.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.