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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Advent 9: Waiting for a Saviour

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

My default position: I am just fine thank you very much. I don't need your help. 

But I'm not. We're not. That's the problem. The problem is perhaps more obvious on a global scale: the world is out of kilter. It isn't how it should be. Our hearts hurt when we read the misery of the news and see the pain of humanity and the awful things that we do to each other. We feel outraged by other people's offences. We cry out for something to be done.

But, the problem is closer to home too. The problem is in me. Jesus came to save me from myself. He came to save me from my sin, my selfish refusal to accept that maybe God knows best, that maybe I should trust him. Jesus came to save me from my jealousy, my judgement of others, the snide remarks I make in my head and mutter in corners to select circles; he came to save me from endless comparisons to others, from that nagging question of whether I'm really ok, whether anyone really notices. Jesus came to save me from the wrong that I do to others, to the world and to myself. He came to remove the barrier between me and God that I might see him face to face, that I might hear him say, It's ok - you're mine. You belong to me.

When I look at myself, really look, I know that I'm not ok. Not really. I long to be good, to be nice, to be kind, but then something ugly kicks in. That ugliness is what Jesus came to get rid of. He came to save us from our sin.

Response: In Romans, Paul talks about the battle within us to do good, to be the people we want to be, and our failure to do it. He says, "I know that nothing good lives in me—nothing good lives in the part of me that is earthly and sinful. I want to do the things that are good, but I do not do them. I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the bad things I do not want to do. So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things... What a miserable man I am! Who will save me from this body that brings me death? I thank God for saving me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:18-25)

Let us thank God together that Jesus came to save us from our sin. 

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