So its Christmas day, which means the western world is very focused on giving right now. We give presents - we get presents… there is usually some kind of unsaid protocol behind the process. We need to be careful that the gift we give is reasonably proportionate to the gift we get. We wouldn’t want to upset the balance by not giving much, but getting a lot in return (or vise versa.)
This delicate balance permeates our concept of what God is like.
It doesn’t really compute too well that God lavishes us with undeserved Grace & Kindness… and we are incapable of responding in-kind.That’s where religion came from, it is the process of trying to match God’s goodness with a response in-kind. In effect we think that God wants us to keep the balance. It’s really a bit weird when you think about it, the idea of trying to keep pace with God – as if the price He paid to pour out His Gift upon us can ever be equaled by our response. The Son of the Most High God gave His life, and in return I give Him religious observance…really?
Gratitude – certainly… but as soon as we tip over into ‘attempts to give back’, we make a mockery of the price Christ paid. Better to just let it wash over us and let God love us… just because He can.
We have made the whole giving aspect of God so earthly – like when people say; “God always comes through, but it is always at the eleventh hour”, this thinking diminishes Gods lavish nature, its religious and bound-up in worldly thinking. God is very good & kind all of the time. The spontaneous outpouring of His goodness and kindness was released to us when Christ broke us free of the power of sin, and has never stopped or even diminished since… God came through for us 2000 years ago, ever since then mankind has been living in the era of God’s favour.
So here’s my suggested response to God ~ consider the gift carefully, look deeply into the sacrifice of Christ, attempt to grasp the price He paid, contemplate the stunning outcome acheived by the shedding of His blood ~ and when you have done that ~ sit quietly for a little while, don’t clutter the moment with words, not even prayer or praise ~ just sit quietly and ask yourself, “dare I entrust every fibre of my being into such a love?” ~ then sit quietly a little longer and ask yourself, “dare I believe that God could be equally as good to me for the rest of my days, as He was on that day that He gave up His life for me?”
to truly believe that God is as good, and loving and kind as He claims to be, is the best and only response God desires…
happy Christmas, Graeme