From the beginning of this Lenten cycle of readings, we have heard a consistent message: faith in Jesus will convict us. Set against the Gospels we have heard this Lent, faith can no longer be approached as an individual endeavor, practiced without sacrifice, reduced to following the law, or domesticated into a slogan—John 3:16.
That often-cited comforting verse must be read in the stark light of verse 19: “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.”God’s gratuitous gift of the Son cannot be passively received without the return gift of a life convicted to the Light and everything that the Light came to dispel. Click To Tweet
God’s gratuitous gift of the Son cannot be passively received without the return gift of a life convicted to the Light and everything that the Light came to dispel. Thus, one cannot profess faith in Christ without taking a stand for justice, without siding with the powerless, without putting one’s reputation and life on the line for those who live under the constant threat of death.
For faith is not a neutral act. To receive the gift of Light in Christ without acting as people of light is to pollute the Lord’s temple. It is, as the psalmist sings, to forget the Lord. Therefore, let our tongues be silenced, our harps put away, and our lands laid waste until we remember the demands of faith in Christ.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Tobias Rademacher on Unsplash.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- The heart of the Eucharist
- Come and fill our hearts
- The slow work of the Spirit
- Listen for the Spirit
- Let’s be recognized