God’s passionate devotion

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? They did not say, “Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt?” … My people have changed their glory for something that does not profit…. My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder?

—Jeremiah 2. 5-6, 11, 13-14

The God of the Old Testament is often portrayed as vindictive, judgmental, and often in a foul mood. It’s said that the New Testament God is the loving who cares for us, while the Old Testament version is just mad that we broke the rules. But God is no more angry at us than we are at a child who runs into a busy street. It’s not the rules, but our lives, that God is so passionate about.

God only loves us, and is anguished that we endanger ourselves. God gives us life and sets us free, and ardently calls us to turn away from attachments that enslave us and diminish us. God wants clear, flowing, life-giving water for us, not brackish tank water. God wants freedom for us, not attachment and addiction. What appears as God’s anger is really God’s devoted passion for us to change in order to be fully alive and fully free.

Be mindful of the One who is your life, your breath, your energy, and your freedom. Recently, how have you sought “life” in accomplishment, in security, in what other people think of you? And how have you sought life in the Holy One? How have you given yourself over to things that enslave you? How might God be wanting to set you free?

God is the fountain of life within you. Abandon the leaky pits you dig that hold fetid water, and turn to the Life-Giving One. God is your freedom. Trust that God desires that you be fully alive and free. Let go of your attachments, and receive from the Beloved life that is undiminished.

When it seems like God is shouting at you, don’t worry that God is mad at you. It might be that you’ve run out into the street, and God really really wants you to be OK. Turn around and listen.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes

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