Lent 3, Thursday, Year A

Inspired by Colossians 1:15-23

“And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him—provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard.”  Colossians 1:21-23a (NRSV)

Left to our own abilities, there is nothing we could ever do that would allow us to come before the Lord holy and blameless.  Because of our actions and the choices we make, we could only come before him as sinners, deserving of punishment, condemnation, and death.

But God in Christ has taken our condemnation and punishment upon himself, and suffered death on our behalf.  Because of his unfathomable love and mercy, he has exchanged his righteousness for our sinfulness, and defeated death in order to give us life.  Through his grace we can stand holy and blameless before the Father, estranged no more, embraced as beloved children and heirs of the kingdom.

None of this is dependent upon our actions.  God in Christ has already done it, and that is the good news—the gospel—that we cling to.

Let us pray.  God of grace and mercy, you have come to the aid of your people.  Grant us the boldness to hope in your gospel, that we may be steadfast in our faith in your love.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.