How generous?

Sunday’s Old Testament reading (Isaiah) has a line that gets repeated a lot, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”  

By itself, it can sound pretty alienating.  Either like God is so far removed from us that there’s no way that we can understand God, or like God doesn’t know how to communicate with us and is frustrated.  Which couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

On Sunday, when you hear it together with what goes before it (“Turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God who is generous in forgiving.  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”), then the real meaning comes out. 

God is generous in forgiving.  How generous?  More generous than we are, more than we could ever imagine - which just happens to be the backstory for Sunday’s Gospel. 

More on this tomorrow.