Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Greater Gift?

I read something this morning that boiled a lot of theology down to one sentence. It was written by C. S. Lewis, someone who had the gift of saying a lot with a few words. He said this about the birth of our Savior, Jesus of Nazareth: "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God."

This is sometimes called "The Great Reversal" in theological circles, or to us common folk, just a most amazing contradiction. It's something I contemplate, as much as my poor brain will let me try to plumb the depths of something, and every time I do, it leaves me speechless. (Of course, if you know me, it doesn't leave me that way for long...) I don't think we'll ever truly understand how great the difference is between being God and being human, until we finally see God (1 John 3:1-2) and begin to understand how truly great he is. Then, perhaps only then, we will start to understand what an enormous sacrifice was made by the eternal Son of God, just to put on human flesh. And even at that, this huge move was only the first step in bringing us back to himself. He also had to die, was destined to die from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:1-2, Revelation 21:6), to perfectly erase the guilt of our sins.

Not that there was any guarantee we would respond. We humans are famous for not paying attention to what's best for us. Several of Jesus' parables were about people who spurned God's gracious invitation. Even many of the people who heard him teach, standing there in the dusty streets of their own city, didn't believe him. How much less we who sit here in the comfort of our warm homes 2,000 years later? Nonetheless, God made the effort, all on his own, to give us life: everlasting, abundant, joyful, and full of absolute love.

Our loving God has already given us the greatest gift he could offer: himself. He asks in return that we love him with all our heart and mind and soul and strength -- that is, without holding anything back -- the same way he has already loved us.

How about giving God that complete, unreserved gift of your love today?

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