To the editor:
Perhaps we are afraid of God’s unconditional love for us because we’ve experienced rejection or abandonment in our lives. We silently wonder “What if God lets me down and I get hurt again? We prefer the “comfort” of our fears to the risk of letting go and trusting in God’s love for us, just as we are.
This fear shows up in a lot of ways, for instance, by thinking we have to be “religious” or by attempting to clean ourselves up before we can accept God’s love. Maybe we consider our sin too much for God to bear, and thereby excuse ourselves from the celebration.
In every case, the problem is the need to control. We want to define the terms of love before we can accept it. We are offended at the idea of divine grace because we want to esteem ourselves as worthy of God’s love based on who we are, rather than on who God is.
The message of God’s love, however, is scandalous, precisely because it gives wholeheartedly to those who are undeserving and unworthy, to the tax collectors, the sinners, the crippled and blind.
So come just as you are. Sit at the table. You are welcome.