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Following a God who loves the remnant

We are a people who discard our remnants. On this resurrection day, it is worth considering a God who loves the remnant and the dramatic sensibility of a God who is continually snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Without this divine perspective, we are tempted to wonder what God has in mi…
By Seth Barnes

We are a people who discard our remnants. On this resurrection day, it is worth considering a God who loves the remnant and the dramatic sensibility of a God who is continually snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Without this divine perspective, we are tempted to wonder what God has in mind in a modern America where the number of radically committed Jesus-followers seems to be dwindling and where material abundance seems to have made us ever more self-sufficient, draining faith from the hearts of believers.

This waxing and waning of faith from generation to generation is hardly a new phenomenon. God has always favored the remnant of hot-hearted disciples who live to find the way in which his narrow path would lead them. Buechner describes it this way:

“Throughout all these centuries there were always the prophets thundering out at king and people to remember their ancient mission to be the kingdom of priests that God had called them to be, but each time the prophetic cry went largely unheeded, and each time Israel went down to another defeat with only a remnant of the pious left to be, as Isaiah put it, a green branch growing out of a hewn stump.

Remnant led to remnant until finally, in terms of New Testament faith, the remnant became just Jesus and his twelve disciples. When the last of the disciples abandoned him, the remnant became just Jesus himself.

The kingdom of priests was reduced at last to this One, who was both priest and sacrifice. It is out of his passion that the Church will be born as the new Israel, a kingdom of priests at last.”

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