Saturday, July 29, 2017

Abounding in Riches

My reflection on yesterday's Daily Texts:

Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food? - Job 38:41

The Lord is generous to all who call on him. - Romans 10:12

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 89:30-37; Isaiah 51:17-53:12; Colossians 1:15-27

The word translated "generous" in Romans 10:12 is describing the extent of Christ's own riches and wealth. And it's actually a form of a verb, not an adjective. So another translation says the Lord is "abounding in riches for all who call on him."

In Colossians 1, Christ is exalted as "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation," in whom "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell." Now, that's abounding in riches. And the next few verses make it clear that it's through the cross of Christ and his death and resurrection that "God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things."

The passage from Isaiah also includes the fourth "servant song," which Christians see fulfilled in Christ. It reveals God's servant as one abused and rejected, but lifted up as savior. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed."

Over and over again, scripture shows that God's character of abundance and richness is bound up with God's love and mercy and forgiveness, and desire for the whole world to know peace with God and one another. God will stop at nothing - in Christ, even being willing to go to a humiliating death on a cross - to accomplish this reconciliation.

What a difference between how most of us see riches and wealth in the world! With God, status and power are not just things to be accumulated to create a widening gap with those most in need. But the Lord "is abounding in riches" for the purpose of reaching out to those very people, "for all who call on him." God provides, not just for our daily needs, but also for a place in God's abundance forever!

Thank you, God, for sharing your riches and abundance with me and the world. As you moved Paul, move each of us to see and appreciate your grace - and to share that good news with others.

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