Advent Reflection: Stepping Out of the Fast LaneDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
...so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
I approach life at a fast pace. The Rule of St. Benedict would tell me to slow down, to keep watch, to take stock more often. I hate to disappoint St. Benedict, but the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and I might be stuck fighting my fast-paced instinct until the day I meet the pearly gates.
I want the regeneration of my soul and the redemption of my spirit to be immediate. In true millennial form, I want it, and I want it now. Truth is, it will take my whole lifetime and my entrance to glory to see God’s work of redemption complete. Lucky for you and me, God justifies us by his grace and gives us hope to stand sure of our adoption as sons and daughters, in the meantime.
Paul talks about this very idea in Titus 3:4-7. Simply put, it’s the mercy of God that brings us salvation, the kindness of God that justifies us by his grace, and the generosity of God that calls us “heirs having hope of eternal life.” The Greek in verse 5 even calls our redemption a “washing” or holy bath of sorts. It’s something that God does for us, and it has nothing to do with our efforts or striving. I’m certain it is the longest bath of my life, one without bubbles and relaxing spa music.
Advent makes me eager for the final work of redemption to be complete. I wait for God to wipe away every tear and eliminate the pain in our lives caused by sin. You too? We stand eagerly, awaiting the coming of our savior to make his work complete in our lives and to establish his kingdom among us.
But Advent also gives us the opportunity to celebrate the hope we have as heirs, and heirs only because of the sacrifice of Christ. Jesus condescended to live among us, to know the toil and striving we experience, and to understand the perseverance required. He was much more patient than I’ll ever be and certainly far more long suffering, not demanding that life happen fast.
In our frantic waiting, we can dwell on the coming Christ once more, calling upon the hope he left us on the cross as heirs, eager to know our Eternal Life, fully redeemed and restored.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: In what ways do you find yourself striving for salvation, instead of finding your salvation in God’s grace alone? How might you be more mindful of the hope of Christ’s Second Coming? What does it mean for you to live as an heir of God, receiving salvation and hope?
PRAYER: Lord, we are grateful for the gift of your grace, given out of your mercy and kindness to us. Help us to receive salvation instead of striving after it by our will. Help us to be patient as you continue to renew and redeem us every day and remind us to dwell on the hope of Heaven. Thank you for saving us and giving us rest in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
P.S. from Mark: Emily Ballback is the Program Director for Laity Lodge Family Camp. She finds great joy in serving families and leading college-aged staff at Laity Lodge Family Camp. Emily can be found running, playing guitar, singing, or writing whenever she is not chasing around her adorable niece.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge Youth Camp, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.