Hebrews 12. 18-24

Was the Father who would run,
flinging dignity to the winds
to throw His arms around a returning prodigal
ever unapproachable?
Did He, somewhere between Malachi and Matthew,
undergo a Damascene conversion?
Did Jesus really come
to rescue us from an offended God?
Or could it be those arms
were always open wide, that heart
never had anything but love
and yearning and welcome and warmth
but we saw, between us and Him,
fire and darkness and gloom and whirlwind
until the very voice of love filled us
with fear and trembling?
Like the son rehearsing over and over
as his dogged yet tremulous steps carried him home,
“Make me one of your hired servants”,
did we assume He shared our pettiness
and so rehearse our expectation of rejection
until it metamorphosed in our minds
into the hostility of God?
Could it be that Jesus came
not to rescue us from the Father
but to show in living truth before our eyes,
when He becomes incarnate,
love takes on flesh and bone, not to hire servants,
but to whisper again as to Adam,
“You are still my beloved children”?

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