From the Pulpit: God loves mankind, even when we dont

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Of all the marvels in the world, the greatest remains the same since the very beginning: the faithfulness of God. &8220;When I consider the works of your hands,&8221; the psalmist murmurs aloud, &8220;what are human beings that you care for them?&8221;

Indeed, what are we? You can scarcely go a minute without hearing people mutter despair and angry embarrassment of human beings. Nearly everyone has a long list of people that they would be ashamed to be associated with.

For many, we ourselves

are on our own list and towards the top. We are ashamed of ourselves and afraid that people will discover the real us.

It is the oddest game of all that we are ashamed of ourselves and others. After all, the human race isn&8217;t much to brag about, and we pretty much all know it.

Yet God&8230; those two words put a halt to both our arrogance and our despair about human life. &8220; For this reason, Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters&8230;&8221; Who is it that Jesus is not ashamed of, but all of us who share flesh and blood as human beings.

God looked at his whole &8220;good, very good&8221; creation, with all its beauty, grandeur and pristine perfection. Lush forest, sparkling, clear rivers, perfectly clean air and delicate living creatures and then God decided to hand it over to humans. It started to go south from there.

We should wonder why in the world God choose to step into the great danger of creating man, this goofy, unsteady, earthly creature who lacks most of the natural grace of other creatures. But when God saw that Adam was alone, God decided that he would step in even deeper by bringing woman into the world. Now there would be no end to the dilemmas, drives and pain that together as male and female we would bring into the world.

It was one thing for God to look at Adam and Eve at their very best and decide to claim them as his own and to love them. But it was quite another thing for God to look at all of us in our sinful, selfish billions and not to be ashamed of us. No wonder the faithfulness of God surpasses all understanding.

On any given day, most of us are ready to write ourselves or others off faster then one can send an email. The sense of shame that we feel about ourselves is overwhelming.

We kick ourselves up and down over and over. Or we get together with others and kick others. We feel sure that God is embarrassed to hear from us, or that others should be so ashamed that they never think of praying.

Yet God, for some totally inexplicable reason, is a God of faithful love. Even when his least lovely creatures fell into the worst of all that we could do, God decided on salvation rather then rejection and Jesus appeared to bring it about. And not only did Jesus come to us, Jesus is not ashamed to be ONE of us, we at our worst, we at our most ashamed.

Most of us would never bother with the six billion of us on the planet right now, much less the nameless, faceless millions who have preceded us.

At best, we are willing to deal with just a few, highly selected people. But, oh, the mysterious faithfulness of God and Jesus. They all know about us, shameful as we are, and love us. They simply as us to trust and to love- and not to be ashamed of them or of our own flesh and blood.

Robert Montgomery is the preaching minister of Cahaba Valley Church