The WELCOME Of God’s Love
07/08 Nov 2020 | Traditional and Prayer & Praise Services
Bishop Elect Rev Dr Gordon Wong
Scripture Passage: Isaiah 54:8-14 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | God’s love and compassion far outweigh his occasional moments of holy wrath.
The ESV translation of today’s scripture has the recurrent words of anger, love and compassion as attributes of God. Divine anger, described many times in the Old Testament, has led many to an erroneous understanding of God’s character. Divine wrath, unlike human anger, is righteous-driven, against unrighteousness. It is momentary in this passage, and ratioed against love at 4:1000 generations in Exodus 20:5-6. Contrast the occasional and passing wrath with God’s welcoming love which is faithful and permanent.
- God’s Anger | v8. For a moment
- God’s Love and Compassion | v8. everlasting, v10. steadfast
All these emotions are expressed in different ways as appropriate, to occasion and person, according to their differing love language. In the movie Fiddler on the roof, Tevye presses his wife to articulate if she loves him but she only understands love in terms of wifely services rather than in affirmatory terms. A leading local luminary testified how his defining moment of his father changed from ‘responsible provider’ to ‘loving father’ upon a chance loving touch on his shoulder during an outing together. Chinese men of the pre-war generation were not culturally pre-disposed to displaying any physical form of affection even within the family.
Perfect love must be coupled with discipline, as all parents well understand, despite the pain it brings to both. So too is God’s compassion in administering the rod.
This Covid season has opened up many opportunities to share welcoming love and compassion to all within and beyond our comfort zones. Our church has led in providing hospitality and assistance; as members, we can also follow the lead as instruments of our God’s welcoming love.
(Sermon Notes by Kwun Pillai)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. How has the Holy Spirit spoken to you through the preaching of God’s word?
2. Do you have any questions? (or How would you summarise the message of this section or story?)
3. What are the implications for us through this message?
- What are the personal implications (for you)?
- What are the communal implications (for our gospel community)?
- What are the missional implications (for those we want to reach for Christ)?