The truth of the matter is this: because of our nature, we don’t want God among us on God’s terms; we don’t want personalized, “grace-on-the-loose” Jesus Christ. We prefer a god of our own making-a god that will affirm us and our own self-help devices for salving our worries.
That’s why the religious leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus. He threatened their institution and its righteousness. Such worries are infectious: even one of Jesus’ own disciples, Judas, succumbed to Satan. Thus Judas’ name is forever tainted, but it could have been anyone who insists upon a standard of righteousness other than God’s.
The marvel of the gospel story is that God confronts evil on its own terms by forgiving sin. God’s tender love and mercy cut through all institutions and anxieties in order to reconcile us and all creation with God and one another.
Through our baptism into the death and resurrection of his own dear Son, God drowns us and our worries, and raises up a new you and a new me. We are forgiven sinners, free to take up this life with courage and confidence.
O God, fill me with your Spirit, so that I may live. Amen. — CR