Friday, June 8, 2012

The Sunday Word

I am so happy that my name is on the list.

He “offered himself without blemish to God,” says Sunday's selection from the letter to the Hebrews, in a sacrifice designed to “purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!"

Jesus’ death on the cross gives us a place on the list. It offers us an opportunity to join the roll call of the redeemed, the sanctuary of the saints — all the saints, those who are forgiven, purified, renewed and restored.

When you’re on this list, you can never be lost.

We all know that the thing about lists is that they are just about impossible to get onto. Consider the list of the 40 richest people: In order to knock off anyone from their perch at number one, you’d have to come up with about 17 billion dollars. Not an easy task.

Such a list is tough to crack, and so are the high-octane rosters of Most Powerful, All-Stars and Most Admired.

The list we are on is not like those lists.

The list we are on is for everyone. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,” says Jesus to Nicodemus, “so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." This gift is for everyone who believes — not just the elite.

The list lasts forever. Christ “entered once for all into the Holy Place,” says the letter to the Hebrews, “not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption." Jesus gave his life, and the result is eternal redemption — his list is never going to change or diminish or disappear.

Jesus has suffered once, for all, so that we might make his “list of life.” And we can respond, as so many have before us, with faith and with gratitude, with wonder and with worship.

With our names on this list, we’ll never be lost.