We are at an interesting point in history in which, when people look to the past, they seem more likely to cringe than to celebrate. It has become customary for people to look to their forbears and then disavow them or apologize for them in what has become almost a ritualistic purgation. There are many who are ashamed of their roots, ashamed of their family, embarrassed to admit who and where they have come from.
But isn’t it interesting that this is not the case with God? God has been adopting people into his family for thousands of years and along the way has welcomed many whose pasts are shady at best and scandalous at worst. And despite their sins, despite their scandals, he loves them and refuses to turn away from them. God’s enduring and unashamed love for his people is the subject of Erik Raymond’s new book He Is Not Ashamed.
If we were to assemble a great portrait of God’s family, “we’d find people with unflattering stories. Some are known as the chief of sinners, the sinful woman, the thief on the cross, and the prostitute. We’d also see those who were overlooked and disregarded by society. We’d find weak people unable to give God anything. We’d even see those who wore the uniform of opposition to God. Here in the portrait of grace, we’d find a multitude of misfits. It would be quite the picture.”
In this book, Raymond examines the kind of people who would be included in this portrait which is to say, the kind of people God delights to identify with. And thankfully, “nobody has a story that can make Jesus blush” for his heart is oriented toward those who need him most, no matter what they may have done or how they may have sinned.
He Is Not Ashamed is a timely reminder that Jesus does not merely love us, but also accepts us and welcomes us. And this is true even when we have behaved or continue to behave in ways that are nothing less than shameful. God’s love is eternal, unshakeable, and “unashameable.” And for that we all owe him the greatest thanks and the highest praise.