Jesus says, "I know. I understand. I still love you."


Timothy Keller writes, "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”


Restless and chaotic, full of anxiety, we've lost our way. This new narrative sets its roots deeper.


In the age of innovation and modern technologies, it's becoming easier and easier to feel like someone on the outside, looking at other people who seem to be on the inside. Albeit, unable to define what "outside" and "inside" actual is or even who the "outsiders" and "insiders" actually are, we just innately know we are not them and we are not there. Social media platforms essentially function like windows, which allow us to take a little look-see, through which we peer into other people's lives and imagine what life could be like if we only had their lives. Life on the "inside" looks magical and wonderful, brimming with bliss. Their hardships and difficulties even look exotic and adventurous. It gives off the appearance of subtle solidarity, and almost makes us feel like we're not alone in the mess, but then we close the app, and awaken once again to the longing of belonging to something more.


We've all seen the momentary glimpses and felt the palpitations that come with knowing that you are part of something, and equally, the searing pain and loss that comes with rejection.


I wonder what is beneath the surface of belonging?


Perhaps the journey to belonging is paved with the desire to be known.


If this is true, no wonder rejection, abandonment, and loss weighs so heavily upon the human soul.


To be known is to be vulnerable and vulnerability comes with a great price. It's beyond mere honesty and transparency. That's not to say that honesty is not costly. But vulnerability goes deeper. Vulnerability seeks to continue to peel back the layers to explore and expose. Vulnerability lets the light in. Vulnerability is invitation.


Honesty says, "this is what I think."


Vulnerability says, "this is who I am."


Q: what price would you pay to be known?


This is what makes the incarnation of Jesus so mind-blowingly fascinating. Knowing what lay ahead, God the Father, sends His beloved Son into the depravity of the human experience, to live in the human condition to proclaim to the world, "this is who I am!"


And then we rejected Him and abandoned Him... Again!


Why would He do this? Why would he put everything on the line again? Did God, the Father somehow forget that tragic day in Eden? Did He forget the pain and rejection when he watched the man and woman filled with seduction and lust for more turn their back on Him?


Oh, beloved... He didn't forget!


How could He?


Jesus is God's way of saying, "I REMEMBER."


I remember like it was yesterday.


I remember the pain. I remember the loss. I remember the rejection.


The incarnation of Jesus was single greatest event of solidarity in the world. Jesus proclaims, "I am with you. I understand. I know."


The cross was the single greatest invitation.


I've come to bring you home.


It's time to come home.


It's an invitation to be known.


The invitation to be with God is an invitation to know God. The invitation to know God is the invitation to find rest in Him and belonging with Him. You are mine. Now be with me. The withness that saturated Eden is available now through the great rescue of Jesus.


Jesus invites, "Come to me... I will give you rest."


Jesus says, "I know. I understand. I still love you."