The Joy of Reunion
A week or so ago my wife and 2 daughters (2 and a half years and 5 months) spent a few days apart from me in Auckland. They travelled down on a Thursday night, spent Friday and Saturday down there, and then came back up to Whangarei on the Sunday afternoon. Our Church starts at 4pm in the afternoon and my wife needed to be there at 2pm due to commitments she has on the music team. I missed them all so much! I decided to meet them down at Church and spend as much time as I could before Church started with my daughters while my wife was practicing with the band.
I got to Church at about 230pm and walked in the door so excited to see my girls. As I entered I saw them all up the front busy, playing and singing. I decided that I’d just stay at the back of the room and wait for Ari (my 2 and a half year old) to see me. Looking at her play, and finally being in the same room as her after being apart for those days just felt so good. There is not one place I would rather have been. Then she looked up and caught my eye! Wow! The look on that little face and the thrill the flooded my heart in that moment is impossible to put into words. She jumped off the stage, eyes locked on mine, and sprinted with her incredibly cute little legs going a million steps a second, down the isle and launched her self into my arms. She then proceeded, with the most enormous smile, to tell me all about her time in Auckland. As a father I could not have been more thrilled or more fulfilled! The satisfaction of that kind of reunion is something difficult, if not impossible to beat.
That experience and the feelings and emotions associated - to me - begin to shed light on the essence of Gods heart toward every one of us. When any of us are away from God for even a day of 2 (let alone a life time) there is a gnawing, yearning, consuming desire in His heart for reunion, felt embrace, and the reignition of genuine relationship. There is a gap in His heart that only you can fill and when you and I are not in that living, experiential, present relationship with Him it is unbearable to Him. Not only that, but likewise, in every human that exists there is that same gap, that longing for connection and genuine relationship with our loving creator and Father God.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:19, “…that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation”. Reconciliation is a word that, in this context, means to restore back to relational harmony and unity. Jesus came to earth carrying and displaying the heart of Father God. He didn’t come to point out all of the reasons that you weren’t good enough or holy enough to reconnect with and be reconciled into relationship with Father God. He didn’t come hanging the ten commandments and all of our sins over our heads any more than I would walk into that Church and demand that Ari sort out all of her little mishaps before allowing her to reconnect with me. He came to bring us back into right and loving relationship with a Father that missed all of us unbearably. Long before He’s concerned (not to say He isn’t) about your perfection, He’s concerned about your connection.
God loves you and want’s genuine relationship with you and I not because of anything we did or didn’t do but because of who we are. We are His sons and daughters, and He wont give up until we are all back in the place where we belong, in His arms and back in the joy and fulfillment of genuine relationship with Him. This is the purpose of Jesus life and our ministries. Just like I was, He is standing at the back of the room of every individual’s life longing for all to look up, lock eyes, and come home!