I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. —Ephesians 3:17-18
A child is kidnapped and the kidnapper sends a ransom note to the father, explaining that, if a ransom isn’t paid, the child would be harmed. The father, then, has the chance to respond to the kidnappers demands. In our case, however, there was no ransom note because the kidnapper (death) didn’t want a ransom, he just wanted to keep the child. And because the child (Adam and the rest of us descendants) had a rebellious streak in him, he was not only willing to go, but seemed content to live in captivity—which seemingly closed the case, condemning the child to live in a hopeless situation, without the opportunity to know his family or live within the blessing of his birthright.
But to say this case was closed was to underestimate the resolve of this Father—who took initiative and tracked the kidnapper down, arranging to pay whatever ransom was required to return the child to his rightful place and the love of his family. The point is, you and I didn’t even know we were lost, so we didn’t care—we were unaware of how tragic our situation was until our father proactively took the initiative to find us and ransom us.
Celebrating God’s initiative was never intended to downgrade the Great Commission. Rather, it should energize our efforts to change the world, knowing that His great interest in supporting those efforts caused Him to initiate the process in the first place.