I was once told that Jesus saves 
and somehow that was supposed to make everything alright. 
I was once asked, “Are you right with God?” 
and “Have you asked Jesus into your heart?” 
as if those were God’s primary and only concerns.
I was once shouted at “You better get right or get left,” 
and I was left afraid of this God 
whose love would punish me 
for not saying the right words 
or for not confessing the right sins 
or for thinking the wrong thoughts.
What I didn’t realize then 
is that this language isn’t the language of the divine. 
The language of God is 
love, no matter what;
acceptance, no matter who; 
grace, no matter where; 
mercy, no matter when.
The language of God 
is the call of original blessing, not eternal curse. 
The salvation that God enacts 
is a salvation for something, 
not just salvation from something, 
and is for all of creation, for all things, 
not just for me and those like me.
We are invited, all of us, each and every one, 
to join in this beautiful work of God 
that is going on all around us; 
to be coconspirators with the divine 
in the disruption of all death dealing ways; 
to be a voice crying out in the wilderness; 
to repair the breach, 
to seek justice, 
to bring good news, 
to release the oppressed, 
and to proclaim the year of God’s favor for everyone - 
again and again and again. 
Perhaps what I didn’t know was 
that this is what God has always been doing 
and will continue to do for all time, 
that I am participating in this narrative 
every moment of every day, 
and that we are that which we have been waiting for all along. 
And this is something to celebrate. 
This is good news. 
- bshivers

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