A noble calling
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5. 17
Having been locked in Zoom meetings all day this is late - sorry! But it is important too because we are on the theme of building character, which is fundamental. If I was to borrow and adapt the All Blacks' mantra so that it states "Better people make better Christians", please do not misunderstand me. I am not arguing for a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" attitude to Christian ethics. That runs counter to grace, which advocates for a more humble approach whereby we start by accepting that we can do nothing on our own, which is true.
But that does not mean that we can do nothing. According to the Bible, everything is possible for God (Matthew 19.26). And that must include developing as people, as Christians.
During the Second World War the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, stated that resisting the Nazis was not only reasonable - it was necessary. At the same time he insisted that the Church's primary concern was not with securing victory but with doing everything possible to ensure that those fighting the cause would be worthy of that victory.
Jesus has already secured the ultimate victory over sin and death and the devil. And, through his death and resurrection, he has opened the way for each of us to join him in his triumph. So why not put our feet up and wait for the summons? Because eligibility for the eternal Kingdom is only the beginning. As Jesus himself asked about his return at the end of the age "Will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18. 8)
God is not only interested in securing our eternal destiny. He wants a relationship with us. So we are more than a number. We are creatures, made in the image of our creator, and members of his family. That is a noble destiny. So how shall we grow into it? That is what is at stake. Not petty ambition or personal vanity but growing into the shoes which have been prepared for us, for which we have been made...