Advent 1, Monday, Year A

Inspired by Romans 6:1-11

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 6:11 (NRSV)

With every choice we make, we close certain doors and create certain limits for ourselves.  Even when we make a choice for something gladly and willingly, we also simultaneously choose against something.  Frequently this is not a problem; the path we’ve chosen is the one we want, and we’ve intentionally chosen it over other possibilities.  But sometimes we’re not sure we’ve chosen wisely, and we regret and wonder about the paths not taken. Worse yet, sometimes we don’t realize the possibilities we’re rejecting when we choose one path to follow over all others.

When we chose to accept the grace offered to us in Christ Jesus, we need not fear the paths not taken.  Whatever we’ve done in the past no longer defines us; whatever mistakes we make in the present lack the power to diminish our worth to God.   Each day is a fresh start, another opportunity to proclaim the love of God in Christ in word and deed, using the gifts and abilities unique to us in whatever environment we find ourselves.  Choosing the path of Christ limits us only in the sense that it frees us from the cruel lies and abuses of sin.  Choosing the path of Christ opens up countless possibilities to be a beacon of hope in the world.

Do not believe the lies that sin proclaims, lies about your value or worthiness or identity.  Do not believe that your past mistakes limit your future actions, or that your present shortcomings prevent you from demonstrating God’s perfection.  Christ Jesus is perfect, and through him God sees you as worthy of his love and grace and capable of proclaiming his good news.

Let us pray.  Gracious God, through your Son you have freed us from sin.  Embolden us to embrace the new life you have given us, that we may live fully in your grace and love.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.