Advent Reflection: ‘Tis the season to be reconciled to God

The recent flood of sexual harassment claims and admissions have left us angry and disappointed with people we have long admired. But I think we have reached a point where our shock needs to end and our repentance needs to begin.

I say “our” because all of us sin. At the very least, each of us carries a secret thought that grieves the heart of God. That thought needs to be forsaken along with all the actions that grieve him too.

Though sexual sins repulse us, ALL sins repulse God. When we reject this truth and live without regard to what pleases God, we show our lack of understanding about why Jesus was born: to free us from sin.

This is not an easy topic at a time of year when we prefer to focus on decorating and sugar cookies. But if we have been riled up over the sexual sins of the elite, and have not been riled up over our personal transgressions, we are spitting in the face of baby Jesus.

We need look no further than Romans 1 to find the sins we committed yesterday:

Greed

Envy

Murder

Strife

Deceit

Malice

Gossip

Slander

God-hating

Insolence

Arrogance

Boasting

Disobedience to parents

In Romans 2 we are told what we have seen played out in the public square:

But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil… 

Wrath of the media. Distress within families. A world of trouble as jobs, friendships, and respect are lost. What sexual predators have painfully discovered – and what we also must realize – is that sin has consequences.

The answer to this doom is reconciliation to God, and the Christmas season is the perfect time for us to get a fresh start with the Lord. It will require a shift in thinking because we have reduced Christmas to buying gifts while ignoring what God gives for free.

Even still, He is waiting for us with arms outstretched in love, expressed so purely in the form of a Precious Baby. The Innocent One born to carry the sin of the guilty ones.

Christ’s life an example to us.

God’s Spirit a comfort to us.

God’s Word a compass for us.

And the church – with all its flaws – the ideal community of care for us.

All of these gifts are offered to us, wrapped in grace, and waiting to be opened today.

19 I use this example because this is hard for you to understand. In the past you offered the parts of your body to be slaves to sin and evil. You lived only for evil. In the same way now you must give yourselves to be slaves of goodness. Then you will live only for God.

20 In the past you were slaves to sin, and goodness did not control you. 21 You did evil things, and now you are ashamed of them. Those things only bring death. 22 But now you are free from sin and have become slaves of God. This brings you a life that is only for God. And this gives you life forever. 23 The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6.21-23 (ICB)

 

 

 

 

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