The Truest Story
God's redeeming love in Christ offers new life to all—freely, graciously, generously.
The greatest story in all of human history is the true story of the one, powerful, holy, great, and invisible God, who made everything in the heavens and on the earth, who chose to take on human flesh and enter history as Jesus of Nazareth. God did this in order to fix what had become badly broken when human beings turned away from God in disobedience to his loving rule, thus shattering their relationship of intimacy and obedience to the loving God who made them.
In refusing to thank and acknowledge the importance and rightful place of God in their lives, people became, and remain, disconnected and alienated, not only from God but from each other, and even from the planet which has been given into their care. It took God's loving initiative and willing sacrifice in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to make it possible for human beings, and ultimately all Creation, to be reconciled to the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer of all of life.
This saving work of God is both a gift and an invitation. No human being deserves the gift of salvation or shalom (God's peace), no matter how good we are or how hard we try. Left to ourselves, we all are under the sentence of death. Yet no person is outside the circle of God's passionate desire for our reconciliation, redemption, and wholeness.
God's redeeming love in Christ offers new life to all—freely, graciously, generously. But the gift is also an invitation. We must respond, repent, and believe, turning toward God in trusting faith, and embracing his love and his purpose in our lives and for the whole world. When we trust in Christ, God comes as the Holy Spirit to remake, transform, and help us to pray, and to live holy and joyful lives as witnesses, reconcilers, and faithful servants in the new community of God's church. This is truly good news!
Roberta Hestenes is senior pastor of Solana Beach (Calif.) Presbyterian
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