And that is what Jesus came to show us and teach us: how to love. Jesus’ very birth and life on earth was out of God’s love for the world. Jesus, who didn’t label which people deserved love and which didn’t, but welcomed, healed, and served all. Jesus, who out of such wondrous love for God and for us, gave his life on the cross, so we could all know God’s love which neither death nor life can separate us from. Everything Jesus did was to show us how beautiful love truly is. He wanted us to know that we are loved and he wanted us to pass that love on.
All around us is evidence of God calling us to generosity, to hospitality, to love and compassion. The problem is not that the message isn’t being told.
This armor of God is a powerful thing. Because just as spiritual powers of evil are real, so are the spiritual powers of good. And these powers are not only for the rich or high class or the ones seen as mighty by the world, but for all of God’s wonderful children.
We don’t want a god who is never angry. A god who is never angry is a god who doesn’t care. A god who is never angry is a god who doesn’t love us so much that our pain is God’s pain, that our joy is God’s joy. A god who is never angry is not so connected to us and this whole creation that god would come and take on our flesh and blood to teach us and guide us and heal us and show us a whole new life. A god who is never angry would be an abstract, uncaring, unloving god. And that’s not the God who made us, and redeems us, and is with us wherever we go.
What Jesus is offering is not something that can be sold. It doesn’t have a great jingle. There’s no flashy sales pitch. Instead, it’s “Pick up your cross and deny yourself.” It’s “love your enemy and give your second cloak.” It’s “forgive 7 times 77 times” and look at the “log in your own eye before judging your neighbor.”
This isn’t the last time the disciples will be scared. This isn’t the last time they will question if they can make it. But each time, Christ reminds them they aren’t alone. Each time, Jesus tells them God will be there, whether it be the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. And each time they will be strengthened and encouraged to go to a new place and tell the world about grace and new life.
So often, we think that healing looks one particular way. But in the gospels, Jesus doesn’t make people fit themselves to a certain type before healing them. Instead, he fits the healing to the person.
Instead, God’s plan in Revelation is God healing this world and making it new. It is God choosing to save and redeem and transform all of creation. And God does it not by separating us out. Not by putting us in our own isolated chambers. Not by keeping us apart. But by inviting us to live all together in one big city. In one huge city, that we all share as one.