I love Advent. It’s a season of hope and beginnings. But as we move towards the First Sunday in Advent, we read of Jesus getting in trouble with the authorities by claiming to be the Son of God, claiming to have the authority to judge and the power to give life to the dead.
Most of us would like to believe that we have something to do with our receiving of eternal life. Therefore, we don’t mind if God judges and condemns others who do not deserve it because they do not think or act as we do. It is easier to think that we deserve the gifts that we receive.
But here Jesus tells us that his judgment is not to condemn, but to give eternal life. Martin Luther struggled with this idea for a long time, until he finally realized he could only receive forgiveness and eternal life as a gift. That’s grace, pure and simple, even though it doesn’t make sense.
But once we can accept the truth that God gives us this free gift, we can let God be God in our everyday lives and live in service to others.
Great God of life, help us to receive your gift of life through Jesus. Amen. — BJ