“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)
Through the fall, the world suffered what seemed to be irreparable separation from God. Instead, the rest of scripture reveals God’s ultimate plan, the reconciliation and unity that occur through Jesus Christ.
In the Jewish scriptures, God promises time and again to use the Jewish people as a means to bless all nations. In the Gospels, we see Jesus preach, teach and do miracles in ways that heal the world and draw people together in his love. As the church begins, we learn from the Spirit that there is no longer gentile or Jew, male or female. Economic and political differences, ethnicity and language are moot points when it comes to the reach of God’s love.
In the end of time, all promises will be fulfilled. Jesus will come again as “the bright morning star” announcing:
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’
And let everyone who hears say, ‘Come.’
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.” (Rev. 22:17)
Until that day, we have been called together to be his one body, the church. On his behalf and with his authority, we have the honor and duty to share the water of life and invite all we meet, “Come, follow Jesus. Be one with us in his love.”
What gets in your way of a deeper relationship with Jesus? How do you live as one with his church? How can you invite others into such a relationship?
The above reflection was originally published in Messiah Lutheran Church and School’s worship bulletin for the Second Sunday of Advent, 2013. It is meant to complement Creative Communications’ Bright Star of Bethlehem series for Advent and Christmas.
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
© 2013 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.