by Dave's Pen
God's reply to Sonali's letter
|Re: "Invalid Item"
Sonali, my child,
I feel your pain, more than you will ever know. And of the things that you wrote, I wrote too. Let me try to show you.
I am the God of life. I created life. I sustain life. I redeemed life. I died, so that you might live. Eternally, with me.
Sin and death are interrelated as you have discovered. It is through sin that death entered the world. But it is through death—my death—that sin has been overcome. Your present and your future is secure.
You suggest that your death is the way to reunion with me. You misunderstand. It is MY death that is the way to reunion. I have died that you might live. It is MY death that is the only way to reunion with me.
You long for reunion with me. But I am already with you! I made you, redeemed you, and sustain you day by day. In the beauty of creation I show a small glimpse of myself. In the clear words of the Bible I reveal myself. In my death and resurrection I give myself, for you, and give you definitive proof that I love you. As a hen gathers her chicks to her under her wing, so I want to gather you to myself.
All my righteousness I give you through faith. Through my ascension into heaven, through the sending of the comforter, through the gathering of people in my name in which I am in the midst, I am with you always.
My body broken, my blood shed, I give to you with the bread and wine: more than a symbol, but my actual declaration of forgiveness, my actual power to awaken and strengthen faith in you, the literal communion (or reunion, if you prefer) of you, and me, and all my saints and children in all times and in all places.
Your father and mother, Adam and Eve, ushered sin into the world. Though I have overcome sin, the effects in this world abound. Yes, as I wrote, for the one who knows me, "to die is gain". But I create and sustain life for my purposes, which I promise are for your good. Know that as long as you live, it is I that sustains you, I that has reasons for you to live, and I that will guide you all your days.
You can never be alone, for wherever you are, there am I. More than that, I place people in your life to love, to help, to comfort, to enjoy. Please, don’t ignore me, and don’t ignore them.
You are right and your confession is true: you are really bad, and you are no less than a devil. You deserve nothing but eternal punishment. As I wrote, “If we say that we have no sin, the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God, who is faithful and just, will forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I hear your confession. But now hear my absolution: You are forgiven. As far as the east is from the west, so far have I separated your sins from you. I remember them no more. I clothe you in my perfect righteousness. Whatever you needed to have done, I have done it for you. You are free! Now, and forevermore.
Your worth is not based on your feelings, or on the feelings of others. Your worth is based on my declaration. If you want to know your worth, look to the cross. See my broken body. See my spilt blood. All this freely given, just for you. That is how much you are worth.
Your life will have many trials. The world will hate you: count on it. They hated me, hated the prophets, hated the apostles, and will hate all that love me. Your life will be difficult, but I will never leave you or forsake you. If you ever need proof, look to the cross.
Your life is not a punishment, but rather a gift and an opportunity to live in communion with me and those that I place in your life. Your life is an opportunity to continually receive my blessings, and to share those blessings with those around you.
Do you suffer adversity for my sake? Bear up under that suffering, and consider yourself blessed to suffer for my name’s sake. Do you pour out your energy, your life, your very being for those around you? Know that I have done the same, for you.
My daughter, I can do all things. But I do things through means. I created the universe. I created time. I created the physical. It is through these that I work. I became man, died, and rose, for you. I gave the water of baptism and the bread and wine for your faith and forgiveness. I wrote my clear words in physical human language so that you would know me and my love for you. I call, gather and sustain my church on earth that you would receive my blessings through word, through sacrament, and through the fellowship of the saints.
And you, my daughter, are also a means through which I deign to work. You may not know, you may not see, but my word always accomplishes its purposes. My word in your life will always accomplish its purposes too.
Forgetting what lies behind, and straining forward to what lies ahead, press on to the goal of my upright call in my son’s death and resurrection for you. You have been made alive. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, so run the race with perseverance.
You are no longer broken, but restored. You are no longer sinful, but holy. You are no longer being punished, but are faithfully living a life of service for me, for the benefit of those around you.
So rise up, child. The night has ended, the morning has come. Rejoice in me and in the life I have given you.
And now in this new morning, your life as the restored prodigal begins. My robe is around you. My ring is upon your finger. You are part of my family in good standing, and there is work to do. Live as my daughter, ever in my household of continual blessing and abundance.
Your loving father,