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God sent his Son “that the world might be saved through him.” –John 3:17
For Adults: Reflect on Sunday’s Gospel with Alice Camille:
I’m not sure how old I was, or how long I gazed up at crucifixes before the thought occurred to me. If God is so invested in roasting sinners in just retribution, as I often heard from religious people when I was growing up, then why in the world would God have sent Jesus to the Cross?
The Cross is pretty extreme, as sacrificial acts go, I think we’d all agree. It’s not a decision one would make lightly or just for show. The Cross is a deliberate and costly action that only passionate love makes possible. Most of us aren’t in the ballpark of such action, even though we may love some few people a great deal.
So God really isn’t in the condemning business, but in the saving business. That’s what the Cross says. God wants and wills our rescue from sin and death more than anything. The three-fold activity of creation, redemption, and sanctification revealed in the Trinity is about making salvation all but unavoidable. We can still damn ourselves if we choose because we’re free. But we’ll have to work awfully hard to get around such love.
Spend some time gazing at a cross. What does it teach you about God’s love for you?
Let us pray: Come Holy Spirit, and fill your Church with gifts of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, courage, reverence, and awe! Make saints of us whether we sit in the sanctuary or the pews and teach us all the meaning of holy living. For this world is in certain need of our courageous witness. Amen.
Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC