In the OT reading (Isaiah 65:1-9) this weekend Yahweh states that he stands ready to help people who don’t want any help and don’t think they need God poking his nose into their business, thank you very much. Nevertheless, Yahweh starts waving his arms shouting “Here Am I, here am I.” He spreads out his hands 24/7 to people who not only ignore him while following their own devices, but have any interest in the One who is the great “I am, that I am.” “Go away,” they say. “Don’t come near me. I’m too holy for the likes of you Yahweh.” Yahweh responds, “I will not shut up. I will not go away. I will repay you for your errant ways and insults.”
We see how God repays such behavior in the Epistle Lesson (Galatians 3:23-4:7). When the time was right, God sent his Son, born of a woman, to free us from living under the Law, in order that God could adopt us into his family. Thus, in Christ, “there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.”
An example of God’s repaying sins with grace is in the Gospel Lesson, (Luke 8:26-39) where Jesus brings the good news of God’s reign into an area east of the Sea of Galilee. He does so by freeing a man of his demons who was living in cave tombs, running around naked. He could not control himself nor could anyone else, though they had tried. Jesus ordered the demons out, and turned the man into not only a believer, but one who testified of the great things Jesus, God’s Savior, had done for him. Thus, the good news of God’s kingdom took hold in the least likely of places in the least likely one to be adopted as God’s child.