Scripture: John 5:30-47
Key verse: (44) “How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God?”
Reflection: As I reflect on the verse highlighted above, it occurs to me how easily it could be applied to us. How often do we give glory to things that we earn – accomplishments and accolades or things we purchase and own? How often are we guilty of giving more glory to other human beings than to God? It can happen so easily. We are enamored by new experiences, celebrity, and all the things money can buy. We worship all kinds of things – often without paying attention to what we are doing. Jesus isn’t going to condemn us, but scripture might and not living out what we say we believe will, too. Jesus invites us to abide in him. This doesn’t mean that we give up working hard, achieving goals or celebrating our accomplishments. We can be proud of ourselves, still be humble, and put God first. We can celebrate others and acknowledge that no human being has more value than another (a hard teaching for us). At the end of our lives, the things we chase after will have less meaning than the love of our family and friends, the results of compassionate living, and a loving relationship with God. This Advent season, let us continue to focus our hearts and minds on our Savior, Jesus Christ as we give glory to him.
Prayer: O Lord, you challenge us like you challenged the Pharisees. Forgive us for the times when we resist your message and focus too much on ourselves. Give us open hearts and minds, especially as we prepare to celebrate your birth so that we might turn more fully to you, the source of our hope. In your name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].