You’ve heard the phrase thrown about easily with a certain semi-humorous attitude of resignation in the face of frustrating circumstances. The car breaks down when you need it most; taxes always go up; human nature always wants to cover mistakes. Some things never change. The decision of the Supreme Court of the U.S. recently may elicit a similar response. If there is a choice to broaden the permissiveness of societal practices, secularized states will choose to do so. Although we wish the outcome had been different in maintaining a clear understanding of marriage as the first institution of God among humans in the loving covenant between a man and a woman rather than releasing marriage to the courts as a civil matter, we should not be surprised. The encroachment of self-centered human nature upon the reign of God is something that seems never to change.
But there is something else that never changes. The nature of God and God’s mission in the world through Christ. Although we are sad with recent decisions, those who are in the stream of God’s story in the world can be assured that fundamentally nothing has changed. The broken condition of the human heart suffers under the effects of the fall. That brokenness manifests itself in many ways including the redefining of the institutions of God to suit human will – as in marriage. That has become exceedingly evident in recent actions. But God’s mission stays the same – to bring broken humanity back into close proximity through the work of Christ Jesus. In that Way back into proximity with God, the brokenness becomes increasingly restored and the warped human condition becomes healed.
Our task remains – to make known the invitation of God through Jesus to be reconciled and thereby to be restored into the whole and healed condition for which he created us. Whether that affects behaviors of arrogance, deceitfulness, the nature of marriage, addictions – all remain included in the healing, restoring mission of God. We do not redefine God’s vision of wholeness in which he created us. But we invite into proximity with God everyone that they may be restored in God’s own image. Grace makes possible that wholeness while we struggle with the aberrations of our brokenness. And because there is no hierarchy of sin, we all understand grace and offer it in love as the path to wholeness in God.
Some things never change – chief among them is the mission of God in the world!