6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
– Romans 5:6-11, NRSV
Don’t Push the Button!, the title reads. It’s another of my kiddos’ favorite books, and one of the features of a recent “Story Time with Pastor Candy” video for our children at Wesley Church and Wesley’s Circle of Friends preschool. (And since we’re all children of God — I welcome you to check it out, too. I hope it gives you a laugh! https://youtu.be/mNrP1d4hRNY )
I chose to share this particular book because I thought the kiddos of our church and preschool would love the story and laugh through the story as much as my own kiddos do. I chose to share it at this particular time because… well… now, nearly two months into this season of social distancing guidelines, stay-at-home orders, and COVID-19, we’re probably starting to push each other’s buttons.
That’s why, even as I share the story with the children of Wesley, I want to share the dedication with all of you. At the start of the story, author Bill Cotter writes these words of dedication:
To Mom and Dad,
for always encouraging me
even when I was pushing their buttons.
I love those words. It’s not just a heartfelt dedication or a clever play on words. It’s an affirmation of unconditional love — love that continues no matter how much one’s buttons are pushed.
I could say the same words to my parents. I could say the same words to my God, penning the story of my life with a dedication like:
To the God of all heaven and earth,
for always encouraging me,
always standing by me,
always loving me,
even when I was turning from you
and pushing your buttons.
It’s the sentiment captured in today’s scripture reading from Romans: “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NRSV). While we still were sinners, while we still were sinning up a storm, while we still were pushing God’s buttons and pushing God away… God responded with grace, with redemption, with self-sacrificing love. Our God’s love is greater than our sin, greater than our chronic button-pushing… greater than we can possibly imagine.
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/