Sunday, March 22, 2009
Day 25- March 22
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
Hooray for the days when the lectionary fits like a glove, when all of the passages for the week complement each other in an obvious and very whole and holy way. But do they? Just consider the parallels for a moment: "Look at the serpent and live" (Numbers 21) and "Believe in the Son of Man and live eternally." (John 3). "By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)"For God so loved the world...so that the world might be saved through him." Hmm...which is it? Are we saved through Christ, or through faith? the whole of scripture, knit and woven together like beautiful fabric, invites us to think about the mutual interaction of God's grace and human faith. Both are important, and both comprise the heartbeat of faith-- the in/out quality that is vital and never mutually exclusive. That's really the genius of this passage that is so central to our Christian faith: the grace, love and communion of the trinity is found here, and grace and faith both play integral roles in accepting faith and living it out.
This day, O God, let me live reliant upon you and eager to serve out of gratitude for your gifts to all people. Amen.