I have really enjoyed reading through the book of John during the days leading up to and right after Thanksgiving. I really try to make gratitude a part of my everyday life – recognizing and acknowledging the things I have to be grateful for – but I often find myself so dragged down by the demands of life and work that gratitude takes a back seat to stress, complaining and if I’m not careful, bitterness. Reading John’ words about the life of Jesus has helped me realign my focus and remember the greatest reason for gratitude in my life and that is the price Jesus paid for me.
After the horrors of chapter 19, we run headlong into the peace and grace of chapter 20; Jesus is alive! And because of that, everything changes. If Jesus had not come back to life, He would have been just another good man with a good message, a prophet at best. But His resurrection, His power over death and the grave makes Him so much more than that. He is the long-awaited Messiah, the Savior of the world.
As we polish off the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers and begin to look toward Christmas, I hope that each of us will take some time to reflect on what a gift the cross of Jesus is for us. Jesus gave all He could possibly give to enable us to have life, not just now but for eternity.
On Wednesday, we will begin reading in the book of Luke and that will take us to the end of the year. I’m praying that our time in the biographical accounts of Jesus’ life through the eyes of John and Luke will give us fresh insight into who Jesus is.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach