Advent 4, Friday, Year A

Inspired by 2 Samuel 7:18-22

“Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and said, ‘Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?  And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord God; you have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come.  May this be instruction for the people, O Lord God!’”  2 Samuel 7:18-19 (NRSV)

So many people think of God as though he were Santa Claus, sitting up in heaven (the North Pole), making his list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.  They hope their good deeds outnumber their bad deeds, entitling them to God’s blessings and salvation.

But God isn’t Santa Claus.  He doesn’t keep a list of our deeds, good or bad.  There is nothing we can do to earn his blessings.  No matter how hard we try, we can never be good enough to obligate God to save us.

Fortunately God never intended to make our salvation dependent upon our actions.  God knows our limits, our shortcomings, and our failings.  God knows we’re not capable of choosing righteousness consistently enough.  And God chooses to love us and bless us anyway.

David was the youngest of his brothers, a mere shepherd when God had him anointed as king over Israel.  Yet for no reason other than God’s grace, God blessed David abundantly and established his house as a legacy.  God also takes notice of us in our lowliness and blesses us not according to our deeds, but according to his grace and mercy.

Do not worry that your shortcomings will disqualify you from God’s love.  God is love, and there is nothing we can do that will ever separate us from his grace.

Let us pray.  Loving God, you bless us not according to our achievements, but according to your grace.  Help us to recognize your grace in our lives, that we may understand just how much you value us.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.