A few weeks ago in church, I had to resist a pretty strong urge to stand up and shout, “Hallelujah” at multiple points during the sermon. The introduction alone had me pretty much teetering between exclaiming “amen” and crying my eyes out.
I really, really recommend you take the time to listen to this sermon. Even just the first 5.5 minutes will give you a bite-sized picture of the huge and hearty gospel that gives us hope.
Here’s what got me.
The Pastor, Tim, shared a story from the book The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson about his mother’s beloved older brother, a charming milk man at the turn of the century, who turned out to be an abusive, unfaithful husband who was killed by his wife (in self-defense on her part). The story begged the question of how we reconcile our most endearing, kind selves with our most overtly depraved actions. Here’s what Peterson said about it:
“…If the life of David, that comprised prayer and adultery and murder could be written and told as a gospel story, then no one in my congregation would be written off. For me, my congregation would become a work-in-progress — a novel in which everyone and everything is connected in a salvation story in which Jesus has the last word.”
Tim went on to remind us that “…the incongruousness of your life….can be accounted for by the gospel. Your life … can be read as a gospel story in which the gracious and sovereign God is effusively loving toward you. And He is at work to rescue and to redeem the most unlikely of people in the most difficult of circumstances.”
Say it with me now — “Hallelujah!”