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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Advent 18: Waiting for nothing to be in the way

In a letter to the church in Rome, Paul, one of the apostles, writes the following verses:

"If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:31-39)
Take a moment to breathe that in. Savour it. Because of Jesus, there is no barrier between us and God. There is nothing that can ever separate us from God's love. Not our own sin or mistakes or doubt. Not our circumstances. Not our pain or confusion or worry. Nothing. Not one thing. Not one minuscule iota. 

That is mind blowing.

It is also difficult to believe. It is hard to cling on to God's closeness when he feels distant, hard to feel loved when our situation tells us the opposite, hard to trust that he hears us when we whisper his name. But Jesus is the one who brought us near. We were far off and yet he sought us out. We were the prodigal sons and daughters who needed to be brought to our senses and carried back home. God's promise is that he does not change. His distance from us never alters. Even when we do not understand, and do not feel it, Jesus promises us that God's love is close. Nothing can get in its way. 

Reflection: Let us dare to ask God to reveal this to us in a new way today. Jesus came so that we might live in the experience of being eternally loved by our Creator. Let us bring before God what we think separates us from him today and ask that he would show us that it is not so. If we are in Christ, we have unadulterated access to the Father. All. The. Time. 

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