Kindness: more than being nice

In preparation for a sermon I will deliver tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about the amazing quality of God’s kindness. Here are some snapshots of this often overlooked attribute of God…

Nehemiah addresses God’s kindness when he prayed: “You are a God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness” Nehemiah 9:17

The apostle Paul announced God’s kindness when he wrote: “God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Jesus Christ” Ephesians 2:7

And Jesus invites us into kindness of God when he said: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30

In ancient Israel, farmers trained inexperienced Oxen by tying them to experienced ones. The older Ox carried the bulk of the weight of the load. The younger Ox simply walked alongside the older Ox. That’s the image behind Jesus’ invitation to get yoked with him. We walk together, bound by love, but he carries the weight and the burden. And his burden is kind.

Jesus carries burdens we are familiar with, like sin & shame. But does he not also carry burdens that we no nothing about?

Has he lifted your fear before you felt it?

Has he carried your confusion so that you did not have to?

Are there times we you been surprised by a peace that passes understanding?

For me, the answers are: yes, yes and yes.

Those are some of my random thoughts about kindness that won’t make it into my message tomorrow, but those thoughts have shaped what I will share, and they have helped me get through a very full week with a sense of ease and pleasure.

As you go through your day, may the loving kindness of God in Christ be with you, and in you, and be manifest through you, for the glory of God, and the gladness of those around you!


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About chris breuninger

I love life, my family, and Jesus. I enjoy live music, rigorous exercise, thoughtful movies, and strong coffee. I study scripture, wine, and people. I get frustrated with narrow minds, Christian stereotypes, and gardening. My vocation is pastor, but I’m hesitant to admit that, and I’m happy when people are surprised by that.
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