Pentecost 11, Wednesday, Year B

Inspired by John 6:35-40

“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” John 6:37-38 (NRSV)

Jesus came not to do his own will, but the will of his Father. What was the will of his Father? Salvation for the whole human race. No entrance requirements; no prerequisites. No conditions.

All are welcome to come to Christ, but it is not our coming to him that secures our salvation. Christ came down to us, first. His Father loved us so much that he sent his own Son to us, and that love came first. Christ came into the world and welcomed all who came to him; Christ is risen and he still welcomes all who come to him.

We need not try to cleanse ourselves of all sin and impurity before we approach the Lord of all and ask for his mercy. We lack that ability, and that is why the Lord of all came to us in our own form, and beckons us to him as we are, where we are, complete with our needs, our doubts, our fears, and yes, even our sins. We do not cleanse ourselves in order to be received by him; we are received by him because we need him to cleanse us.

No matter how sinful, no matter how dirty, no matter how fallen and unforgivable we may think we are, Jesus will never drive us away; quite the contrary, that is why he came, and he welcomes us into his presence.

Let us pray. God of mercy, you saw the sinful state of your people, and you sent your own Son to redeem us. Help us to accept your grace, that we may be freed from our sin and live as your redeemed people. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.