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2nd Sunday in Advent - Living With Tension

We live in the beautiful tension of the Holiness and Grace of God.
John 1:14,16-17 (NRSV)
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.
16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 3:16-17 (NRSV)
16 "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.
17 "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.

God's holiness leads us to the truth about ourselves, and about the world around us. We, and those around us, indeed the whole world, need a savior. We need grace to counteract the selfishness of our resident sinfulness.
We die to self in receiving the grace of God. It is that grace that relieves us from pretending to be good and allows us to confess and receive from the well of God's grace...and most importantly, it allows us to let others be imperfect and stops our judgment. The grace of Christ offers us forgiveness, love, beauty for ashes, a crown of righteousness for the garments of despair.

Here's a thought for today... The desert father, Abba Moses, gave this instruction: "Do not let dislike dominate your heart."
Why not make a list, hopefully short, but a list nevertheless, of those whom you dislike. Then start with one and pray for their blessing from God. Pray for God's grace to be lavished upon them...pray that your heart will be free of judgment.

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