So many words, so much to think about, words like grace, blessings, life, light, truth, believe, praise, glory, forgiveness. So many different words, so many different thoughts, what does it all mean for us today?
I think it all boils down to the love God feels for us. Why else would he come to be with us and live as one of us with all our weaknesses and frailties? God certainly didn’t need to do any of that. What could we give Him that he doesn’t already have? If God wanted anything he could have it.
The only explanation for everything God did in Jesus is love. He cares for us so much; he desires an intimate relationship with us. Even when we sin by turning our backs on him he has forgiven us completely and willingly takes us back into his arms. It has to be love. What else could it be?
Go back to the Old Testament and notice how many times his people rejected his teachings to follow other gods, to worship their handmade idols and bring their offerings to other shrines. Sure, he became so angry with them but God always forgave them and welcomed the remnant back home. They may have been battered and bruised but they were accepted back into the fold and loved by him.
How is it that God who creates using only words still puts up with us? How can he possibly still love us enough to give us the grace of his forgiveness? It has to be love, a love that’s impossible for us to ever totally get our heads around.
We have received a gift that is so magnificent that many of us cannot fully comprehend the magnitude of it. In the beginning God, when he created us, made us in his image. He chose a small band of people to be his people. The family of Abraham wasn’t large but he chose them. He promised that he would make them a great nation. And so we read the stories of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Samuel, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and Jesus. It wasn’t until God’s people had so mistreated all his prophets that he sent his Son, Jesus.
Even then his own people rejected him as the Messiah. The Creator lived as a pauper teaching those who had little if any education. He called disciples to him who were, for the most part, common laborers. Friends, it has to be because God loves us so deeply that he goes to such extremes to give us his grace.
Good friends, if God loves us so much that he gave us his Word to be the Light in our darkness what are we to do? Is there nothing we can do to repay him for this great gift?
Wait a minute. There is one thing we can do. And it’s so simple. Maybe that’s why we’ve missed it. All we have to do to give back to God is believe. It’s really that simple. We just have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Light that gives us life. Believe that’s it.
That’s the whole reason John wrote his gospel. He wrote it so that we would believe that Jesus was the Son of God and that by believing we might have life in his name.
That’s it folks. We just have to believe. Just believe. Such an easy thing but still we resist because we haven’t seen God. We haven’t felt God. We haven’t heard God. Really, is that it?
Friends, it’s all up to us now. God loves us. He gave us a gift in Jesus, the Word made flesh. All we need to do is trust in God’s truth and believe.
Go to the Word. Read. Sit. Read again. Pray. Wait. Read again. Listen. Pray. Believe. Read again. Trust in God’s goodness and forgiving grace.
Thanks be to God for his truth and grace. Amen.