December 23, 2009

Driven to Love

John 1:1-5

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5


God’s grace is easy to receive but hard to understand. Late author Michael Yaconelli keenly commented in Messy Spirituality: “Nothing makes people in the church more angry than grace. It’s ironic: we stumble into a party we weren’t invited to and find the uninvited standing at the door making sure no other uninvited get in. Then a strange phenomenon occurs: as soon as we are included in the party because of Jesus’ irresponsible love, we decide to make grace ‘more responsible’ by becoming self-appointed kingdom monitors, guarding the kingdom of God, keeping the riffraff out.” Yaconelli’s comments show how quickly we can stumble into the darkness when left on our own to figure out Jesus.

John alerts us that Jesus is the good news we’ve been searching for all our lives. Jesus’ word to us is not one of condemnation, but one of rescue. As the Son of God, he was on a first-name basis with the Father. That important fact is crucial to our invitation to the grace party.

Since all things were made through Jesus, we, by faith, know we can be made new.

Jesus is life. In him, we are given real life that can’t be purchased or sold on a gift card.

We see Jesus and everything else in the light of his fierce love. His perfect love drives away all fear.

Praise God!

Dear Jesus, in this Christmas season, shine the light of your love on and in us. And may this love also shine through us to bless others. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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