The Reformation was all about the kindness of God. In the midst of massive human failure, the good news of Jesus is that God has made a plan to have mercy on the world and save the human race. The law of God shuts every mouth in guilt and shame, but the kindness of God makes every mouth gape open with astonishment. God’s good gifts are piled up high: the kindness of creation: beauty, music, food, friendship, laughter, sports, family, colors, textures, the smell of rain. Then when we refused to thank God for all of His gifts, when we turned away from Him, He sent His Son for us anyway. And He not only took our sins onto Himself on the cross, He not only crushed death in His own death, but He forgave all our sins, clothed us in His righteousness, and gave us eternal life. Yes, Jesus died, and our salvation was costly. But there is another sense in which it was not hard for God to do at all. No one took Jesus’ life from Him; He laid it down and took it back up freely. It was all a gift, a free gift, and He did it so that He could adopt us into His family. So that we might be His children, so that He might be our Father, so that He might carry us on His shoulders, so that He might teach us the joy of abundant life, and all out of His sheer kindness and love. He did it for joy.
So this is the exhortation: be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as in Christ, God forgave you (Eph. 4:32). What is the tone in your car? What is the tone in your home? What is the tone in your bedroom? What is the tone in your backyard? What is the tone of your text messages? What is the tone in your heart? Fathers, what is your tone with your kids? Husbands, what is your tone with your wives? Wives? Kids? Bosses? Employees? Teachers? Students?
What is it to be a Christian except to be overwhelmed by the kindness of God? This is what it means to sing that His mercy endures forever. It’s to see the freight train of God’s kindness barreling down on you and there’s no end in sight. You can’t count all the cars. It’s lovingkindness and grace piled up for us and our children forever, and its kindness all the way down. God’s kindness is not limp. His kindness has a backbone. But it is shockingly good, and brave, and generous. And if you are overwhelmed by the kindness of God, if you can barely hold in the astonishment at God’s mercy to you, then how can there be anything else in your heart, in your mouth, in your life? The storms may come, but the kindness of God is a fortress that cannot be moved, and there is plenty of room for all.