Becoming a blessing (Hebrews 10:5–10)

God the Son is committed to gladly and freely doing the Father’s will.
December 17, 2021

To receive these posts by email each Monday, sign up.

For more commentary on this week's readings, see the Reflections on the Lectionary page. For full-text access to all articles, subscribe to the Century.

“Here I am, I have come to do your will.” This is Jesus’ posture. God the Son is committed to gladly and freely doing the Father’s will.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that I always am. Sometimes I do it begrudgingly, especially when I am asked to love my enemy who happens to profess to being a Christian but is finding creative ways to hate God, our neighbors, sometimes even me. I find it hard to love bad actors who claim to follow Christ and who actively harm others. But as G. K. Chesterton said, “The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people.”

When it comes to loving, I am not off the hook. As I think about Advent, about God coming, I remind myself that I very well could be the face and the grace of God to another person. God could appear to another through me. So could the devil. Will my life be a blessing to others, or a curse? Do people rejoice when I come around, or do they do whatever they can to avoid encountering me?

I hope people meet Christ when they encounter me. And so, it is best that I go about seeking to live my life as Christ would, even in the secret recesses of my soul and when no one is around. Because whatever is inside me will come out eventually, for good or for ill. So it is essential that I conscientiously do my level best, with the help of God and others, to live a life of love and humility.

As we do this, our lives will be a blessing instead of a curse. People will rejoice when they run into us, even if they are unsure at first what it is about us that is different from the norm. They will know that God has come.