Matthew 7:13-29 and John 3:16-21
Life is not an easy thing to live. We desperately seek the easy way out of our misery. Often times, we feel justified in reacting badly when we feel life is just too difficult or when we are drained of all our resources and can no longer fight the temptation to wallow in self pity. We choose to be the bearer of ‘rotten fruit.’ We ask ‘Why can’t someone else be tested? Why must I bear such a heavy cross?’ Then we sit and listen and find there is someone who has a much heavier cross. How will we minister to that person? How can we lighten that person’s load? As Christians, should we not strive every day, every moment, to bear witness to Jesus’ teachings? Did Jesus not minister to the thief as they both hung on the cross? Let us go through the ‘narrow gate’ though it is a hard road and find strength in knowing we are following in Jesus’ footsteps when we are compassionate and selfless in living our lives.
‘…though the light has come into the world people have preferred darkness to light…’ There are those who believe they have no choice but to succumb to the darkness in their lives. They would rather believe in a world of violence, war, corruption, and devastation. Is that not the easy way out? Rather than fighting to bring the light into the darkness, rather than keeping the faith, rather than finding a way to connect to something good in a world gone mad, some of us just give up. We are afraid, I think. We are afraid and so we grab all we can in this life in the belief that this is what life is about. Like the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, we expect to be buried with all our worldly possessions and, therefore, be fulfilled. But Jesus teaches us that only His love can fulfill us. And though His love is ours for the asking, we sometimes do not believe it is what will save us from the darkness. We are so conditioned to believe that we will have to give up something precious that we avoid asking for it. We do not realize that when God gave his only Son, He gave up what was most precious to Him, so we could live in the light and ‘see’ that we have always had what we have always needed: Love