The term “sync” has entered our vocabulary in recent years as a short hand way of describing how we align or synchronise the information or data stored on one device with that stored on another – or something like that!
Recently, whilst thinking through why we reach out to our society in the way we do, I made a discovery. I had always known that what we did was meant to reveal God’s love to the people around us. What hadn’t hit me so powerfully before was that God wants to sync our hearts with His.
Our ministry to the world isn’t just some sort of detached way of showing God’s love. We do what we do because it is something deep within His heart. Mission is in the very nature of God. He is the God who has always been reaching out. Revelation 13.8 describes Jesus as the the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. The cross was in God’s heart from eternity.
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann from her bedroom while on holiday with her parents in Portugal in 2006, is a story that made headlines all across the world. It’s not that she is the only child who has disappeared in this way – not the first and, sadly, probably not the last; children all over the world are abducted every day and others are sold into slavery.
Somehow, though, Madeleine’s story and the story of her parents pain has almost come to symbolise the heartbreaking agony of every parent who loses a child.
Reading the account of the days and months that followed Madeleine’s abduction, I couldn’t help but think how deep the pain is in God’s heart for His lost children.
Sometimes, because we are so familiar with the biblical accounts of the fall of humanity, the calling of Abraham and the establishment of Israel as a nation, not to mention the stories of Jesus, the impact is lost on us. What God in any other religious tradition goes seeking his lost children in the way that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ does?
Skin coverings for Adam and Eve, blessings for Abraham, a land and laws for Israel, the Word becoming flesh in Jesus, all signal God’s attempts to come close to us and bring us close to Him.
Sometimes we need to go back to those biblical stories with fresh eyes and allow them to touch our hearts again. The whole story of the Bible is one of God reaching out to a lost humanity to mend what has been broken and stolen. And God wants us to reflect His heart. He wants us to sync our hearts with His.