In her book “The Peace God Promises” Ann Spangler tells the following story (my paraphrase):
Regine King, a woman from Rwanda lost many members of her family in the 1994 genocide in which she barely escaped with her life.
Her only son was killed. She was consumed with grief, hate and bitterness. She prayed to God. Reveal his killer.
One night she dreamed she was going to heaven but there was a complication, in order to get to heaven, she had to enter through a certain house. She had to enter the house through the front door, go through its many rooms and exit through the back door. In her dream she asked God whose house it was.
He said, It’s the house of the man who killed your son.”
She wasn’t sure what to do with this dream, but she wrestled with it. Two nights later there is a knock on her door. She opens it and there stands a man about her son’s age.
He identifies himself: “I am the one who killed your son. Since that day, I have had no life. No peace. So here I am, my life in in your hands. Kill me; I am dead already. Have me thrown in jail; I am in prison already. Have me tortured; I am in torment already. Do with me what you wish.”
She had waited so long for this day. But she finds that she couldn’t kill him and she didn’t want him thrown in jail, or tortured. She asks one thing, “Come into my home and live with me. Eat the food I would have prepared for my son. Wear the clothes I would have made for my son.’ “Become the son I lost.”
And so he did. (The Peace God Promises, Ann Spangler, 204)
This story is a glimpse of the gospel. We who have done wrong. We whose sin caused the death of God the Father’s Son stand before him with nothing to offer and no way to make amends. But God in his grace (because of the cross) forgives our rebellion against His authority, he forgives our distortion of the truth and invites us to become his sons and daughters. He adopts us! From enemy to heir. From rebel to relative. From sinner to son. This is the gospel, and it is indeed GOOD NEWS!
Under His Mercy,
Derek Dickinson, Minister
Journey Christian Church