The prophet Micah, in our first reading, proclaims the whole reason for our being here this morning. What is incredible about our God is his limitless compassion, his relentless pursuit of a people who often spurn him, his steadfast faithfulness and consistent, unconditional, unending, unmerited love for all of us. He actually delights, Micah tells us, in compassion and clemency, abandoning his righteous anger in favor of restoring us to life.
This is a God unlike any of the so-called gods of old. Our God is the one who chooses to forget his anger, and instead grant unmerited clemency – clemency that is given before it is even requested. He knows our sinfulness, yet chooses to cast those sins into the depths of the sea rather than remember them and dwell on them. He shows faithfulness to Jacob and grace to Abraham, not because we have kept the covenant, but because his faithfulness will not allow him to abandon those he has covenanted to love.
The Psalmist sings our God’s praises well today, reflecting on the unmerited grace we have received:
You have favored, O LORD, your land;
you have brought back the captives of Jacob.
You have forgiven the guilt of your people;
you have covered all their sins.
You have withdrawn all your wrath;
you have revoked your burning anger.
Friends, this is the grace that gets us out of bed in the morning. No matter how we have turned away, our God will not turn away from us. No matter the darkness of our sin, our God will not refuse to bathe them in light. God’s wrath could indeed be devastating, but our God chooses to forget his rage as he forgets our sins, and instead brings us back to life.
“Who is there like you?” Micah asks. No one. And that’s what brings us to celebrate this morning.