Today’s sermon is all about the KINDNESS of God. We live in a world that is forgetting more and more what kindness is. We all have seen this past week examples of unkindness which have disappointed us, hurt our feelings, or maybe even damaged an important relationship we have cherished. Unkindness happens in homes among families, at work between colleagues, in our social networks with friends. Unkindness often takes place randomly in the community. An abundance of unkind things happen all the time.
God is never unkind. He is just in his judgements especially when it comes to sin, but God is never unkind. Some people believe God is harsh and angry at them. Some religious systems present God as judgmental and cruel. Multitudes of people are fleeing countries today seeking asylum elsewhere because military regimes are executing innocent people in the name of a vengeful and merciless god. This is contrary to the kind and merciful God we learn about in scripture. The Bible says, “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 36:7). Jesus said, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men” (Luke 6:35). Jesus made it unmistakably clear that none of us deserve God’s kindness. We are ungrateful and evil people who are prone to be unkind, but not God. He is kind toward us even when we don’t deserve it.
The Bible lists kindness as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). In these spiritual qualities we see the essence of God’s character. God places His nature unto us through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. If there is a place where kindness today should flourish, it should be at church among the people of God. We produce acts of kindness because God is kind.
A mother asked her six-year old son what lovingkindness meant. “Well,” he said, “When I ask you for a piece of bread with butter on it and you fix it for me, that’s kindness.” “But, when you spread jam on it, that’s loving-kindness.” (Chicago Tribune).
Grace should be a church that spreads a lot of jam around. Kindness goes the second-mile in our service to others. Kindness turns the other cheek when others are unkind toward us. Kindness says “Thank you,” and “May I.” Kindness is not ashamed of the words, “I’m sorry,” or “Forgive me.” Are you a kind person? As followers of Jesus Christ, kindness should flow freely from our hearts because God’s kindness lives in us. Would it not be great for people to say that Grace Church is a kind church? That’s what I want people to say that about me. Don’t you?