In February I told a story about Father Valentine, and we considered how God longs to give us gifts, but sometimes we misunderstand and run in the opposite direction.
Now as we prepare to celebrate Easter, let us focus on the ultimate gift from God: salvation—life that comes through Jesus Christ.
Our petit four for this month is: For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NLT)
Let’s not be mistaken about this gift. God’s gift of salvation is always readily available, waiting to be accepted. It is never snatched away, as were Father Valentine’s gifts if we didn’t act quickly enough. And salvation is offered to everyone, even if we doubt our eligibility.
Two summers ago, on a trip to England with my family, I took my children to visit a number of historic sights in London, including Westminster Abbey. There is an area within the abbey called Poets’ Corner. This is the resting place for many poets and writers. We saw the grave of Charles Dickens and memorials to Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, and others. The guidebook explained that some poets were not accepted and buried or memorialized in Westminster Abbey because of their unconventional lives, although more recently these restrictions have been relaxed. God’s gift of salvation is not like this. We are not deprived or excluded from the gift of salvation because our lives are unacceptable. This is plainly seen through the life of Jesus. When on earth, he broke many religious and cultural conventions to offer the gift of salvation to those whose lives were unconventional (Matthew 9:9-12, Luke 7:36-50, John 4:4-26).
This Easter, receive and celebrate your acceptance of God’s gift of life that comes through his son, Jesus Christ. Spend the next few minutes in prayer.