Last month I posted some follow-up to a great series of questions that were asked in youth group. The youth who initially asked those questions has commented on that original post and asked me to elaborate a bit more. Thanks for keeping the conversation going Kurt!
I thought I’d elaborate here so others could comment as well. When I say that God is moving toward good and calling all of creation to move toward good I’m drawing upon several sources.
First of all, I’m looking at scripture. The Genesis accounts of creation that speak of God creating in God’s image and labeling as good are instructive of the goodness of God. Throughout God’s relationship with Israel God is constantly calling people back to the covenant’s that they made, calling them to live lives of faithfulness. In the person of Jesus we see the goodness of God’s love manifest in a remarkable way as Jesus reaches out to those who are hurting, challenges those who are oppressing, and seeks to make the goodness of God known in all he does. In the book of Revelation we read of God’s promise for a new heaven and a new earth that will come. God created and it was good, God calls humanity to be faithful partners in that work for good, Jesus comes and teaches and models the goodness of God, and we are promised that a new heaven and a new earth will be created, again through the goodness of God.
Additonally, I see God’s work for good throughout God’s creation. Each spring I see new life growing out of what appears to be death. Even in the fall, as days get shorter and the temperatures get colder, I understand that the dormant season our planet goes through is an important part of the good of recreation that comes in the spring.
And I have experienced the goodness of God working in my own heart. When I have wronged someone I feel a tug on my heart to make the injustice right, to apologize to the one I’ve hurt. When I am living unjustly and I learn of how my actions negatively affect others, I feel something within myself wanting desperately to change for the better. I have experienced these feelings often enough and have come to understand them as the presence of God calling me to be a better person, calling me toward goodness.
Recently, when asked what my personal motto was, I declared, “God loves us exactly the way we are… but doesn’t want us to stay that way.” I’m probably borrowing that from someone else, but I believe it to be true. I believe that God, in all of God’s goodness loves us unconditionally, despite all of our shortcomings and faults. However, I also believe that God, as a part of moving all of creation toward good, calls us to be better and better people each day and works within our hearts to shape and transform us into those persons God would have us be.