Simply stated, the heart of Haven is Jesus. There’s nothing more essential than his life and message. Jesus came to restore the world to what God intended it to be, beginning first by reconnecting us back with God.
You may have heard of a story in the Bible about a son who grows disenchanted with his family. There were likely some heated arguments, regrettable words exchanged, he just had it – he was ready to go. On his way out, the son demands his chunk of the family’s estate. He takes the money, runs off and lives his life exactly the way he wants.
But his decisions catch up to him. The booze, the women, the wrong choices at the wrong time. He finds himself at rock bottom, no where to go, realizing that he had it good back with dad, with his family back home. He’s aware too that he left in complete scorn. He imagines the disappointment, the anger, the hatred dad must have for him.
But he finds the courage to make his way back. He wonders how dad will react when he sees him. He plans out how he’ll beg and plead for forgiveness. Maybe it’ll work, but with the way he left, he can’t expect much more than to have to pay for the rest of his life, to live with the guilt and shame.
As he’s walking down the road leading to his house, his father sees him. They lock eyes; he braces himself. You’d expect father to go ballistic. But instead the Bible describes it this way, “his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” He was just glad to have him back.
It’s God heart to be reunited with the ones he loves, to restore the romance between him and us. And he does this through Jesus. Through his incredible and incomprehensible act on the cross, removing the scorn and restoring life and love between God and us. And he proves that he really is the one by his resurrection from the dead.
Our heart as a community is to dive headlong into this truth, never growing tired of what Jesus has done for us on the cross and letting God’s love fuel our love for him and the world.