God’s salvation is radical. Zechariah, in the first reading, is speaking to the broken Israel. On account of its sins, it was taken into captivity and exiled to Babylon. The fate they suffered was well deserved. Generations had rejected the Lord’s covenant, had instead turned to the pagan gods worshipped by the people in the surrounding areas. They had profaned the temple with the worship of foreign gods and every one of their kings led them to evil upon evil. So why would the Lord ever care about them again? Couldn’t he just throw up his hands and say, “I’m done”?
But he doesn’t say that. He’s not done. He fully intends to restore the people, gathering them from the land of the rising sun and from the land of the setting sun, that is from the east to the west, and from the beginning to the end, everywhere over all the earth, in every time and place, and gather them back to himself, restoring Israel and making Jerusalem a holy city once again.
All of this is a metaphor for our own need for salvation, of course. How often have we as a culture rejected God’s covenant? How much have we as individuals sinned? How much have our leaders led us to the worship of foreign gods, like wealth and power? We too have found evil upon evil and have rejected our God. We would well deserve it if he threw up his hands in our midst and said to us, “I’m done.”
But he doesn’t say that. He’s not done. He fully intends to gather us from wherever we have wandered, whenever we have fallen away. No place is beyond the reach of our God who longs to bring us back to himself. There is no place that we can go that is beyond God’s love. It is never too late to experience salvation. Nothing is impossible for our God who made us for himself.
God’s salvation is radical.