Sometimes toddlers can embarrass you. Have you ever seen a one year-old stumbling around aimlessly, ecstatic about the newfound freedom that feet bring? He bobs and weaves around the living room, tripping over everything, aware of nothing else but the joy of walking for the first time. But then he embarrasses you... 

It happens when you crouch down and hold out your arms. “Come here, little man!” He stops and stares. “It’s okay. Come here!” You encourage in your warmest voice, stretching your hands in his direction. But he stands like a kool-pop. “Don’t be afraid. Just one step at a time,” you urge with your arms still extended. 

But then he turns around and stumbles off. And you have done been dissed as the teens say. If you do that in a crowded room, you might feel a bit flushed. Shot down by a one year-old. Not the best feeling in the world. 

Now imagine if you had gone the extra mile for that little guy. Imagine if, after he turned, you kept your arms out, kept calling, kept asking him to come. The others in the room watch as you desperately seek his attention, arms extended towards an obvious rejection. “Come’s okay...come here...I’ll wait.” Imagine the awkward moment turning into an awkward minute...then an awkward hour...then an awkward day. 

Now that would be embarrassing! “But,” you say, “no one would ever do that! No one would humiliate himself that much in front of others. Everyone has more self-respect than that.” Well, almost everyone. Isaiah 65 says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” What? Someone actually did that? Someone held out his hands “all day long” for someone? Do you know who the “I” in that verse is? It’s God. God Himself crouches there with arms extended. God waits and urges and calls. He does so all day long for all wayward people. Now that’s embarrassing. Or maybe that’s grace – God’s undeserved love. Perhaps that patience and kindness and mercy is why the true God is loved and worshiped by billions? Maybe His over-the-top display of love for us is why we praise Him and why you might want to investigate His love further? 

I could explain to you why this group of people or that religion or those kind of folks should read this verse, but today I won’t. Today I’ll just say that we want read this verse...and rejoice! 

You see, we were the disobedient people. Because of the sin we were born with, the sin we choose, the sin we try to hide, and the sin we aren’t even aware of, we were the stubborn child. We were stumbling away from God. 

But, in an inexplicable display of grace, He kept and keeps calling us in Christ Jesus. God didn’t hide the news about His forgiveness. He didn’t conceal the message of the cross. Instead, He stayed there, crouched down and calling. His arms reached towards me and towards you, flaws and all, and he cried, “Come here!” Those arms are still wide open to all with life and breath in their lungs to this day. 

This is why we love God. This is why our church and preschool at OSL exist. This is why faith is not a weekend hobby for us, but our entire sum and substance. When you’ve come to know a God like this by His Spirit through His Word, there’s nothing else you’d rather do than enjoy his embrace and beg others to see His open arms and come. Come hear about this loving God with us any time and come be a part of our effort to tell the whole world about how His arms are always wide open. We look forward to meeting you. 

Warmly In Him, 
Pastor Nate