Monday, December 07, 2009

What’s the worst that can happen?

One thing we know for sure about our God: Our God is a God of the living, not of the dead. God is life. God is love. God is beauty. God is goodness. God is truth. God doesn’t want us to die. God wants us to live. Our God, who loves us from eternity to eternity, wants to give us life for eternity.

When that life was interrupted by our unwillingness to give our full yes to God’s love, God sent Jesus to be with us and to say that great yes in our name and thus restore us to eternal life. So let’s not be afraid of death. There is no cruel boss, vengeful enemy, or cruel tyrant waiting to destroy us - only a loving, always forgiving God, eager to welcome us home.

from Henri J.M. Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey.

In this dark time of year, when each day is shorter than the one before, and it seems as though the night is closing in, it is easy to fall prey to the enemy’s hints of dissolution, of being forever lost in winter. But, as I mentioned the other day, we Christians know the end of the story. We are not lost: as Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:27-29)

This is why it so vital that we keep our hearts and our minds open to the Gospel—why we need always to study God’s Word, and not let ourselves be distracted by the petty disagreements Christians have had since the first disciples argued about who was greatest (Mark 9:33-37). There is no other way. The Good News is simply the Gospel of the Son of God, Jesus Christ: “Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

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