Monday, July 15, 2013

A Thought for Monday 7/15/13

“You who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, Messiah has now reconciled in His fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before Him – provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the Gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.”  Colossians 1:21-23

Clearly before we have done anything, our Lord already took an extreme measure – His own death – in order that we may be reconciled to the Holy Father.  This divine love is unconditional; otherwise Jesus would have sought to put something else in place before He would allow Himself to be arrested, let alone crucified.  But He did not do this because His love is without condition even as you and I do for those we love – expecting nothing in return but doing it only to express our love. 

Our part in response to this divine love, however, is to accept it, but our acceptance goes far beyond an intellectual acknowledgement; it requires an acceptance on the Lord’s terms as spelled out in the Holy Scriptures.  Our response is to be in mind AND body AND soul; that is, “the faith” to which St. Paul refers is the religion by which we “continue securely … and steadfast … without shifting from the hope”.  Though divine love is without condition, our necessary response does have conditions – “provided that you continue … in the faith”.  St. Paul is not referring to a promise to always believe the Crucifixion actually happened; he is requiring that our response will be within the conditions of the Covenant, the Lord’s terms and not our own; expressing our love with all we have and with all we are - unconditionally.  In other words, we cannot continue to live like the devil, to “cast pearls before swine” (to try and call our own sins “good”) and expect to have a part in the Kingdom, which is the hope for the “promise” of the Gospel.

Let us embrace the Promise that has been made for all eternity, for it truly is ours to embrace … or walk away from.  Yet it is always for us to remember what the Lord spoke to His prophet Ezekiel (18:23): “Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die … and not that the wicked should turn from their ways and live?”  Our Lord has eternally had His desire that all should turn to Him (repent) and live.  It is no less so today for even the worst among us.  Do any of us really believe our sins are too big for Him to overcome by His death and resurrection?  So awful that He will not forgive?  Forbid it, Lord!



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