For OUR sake?
"Because you're worth it", say the advertisements, or "Because you deserve it". So - buy our cosmetics, our jewellery, our watches, our holidays, our cars. The key word, of course, is buy. Nobody is offering to give us these things because we are worth it, because we have deserved it. We are, in a sense, being invited, or lured, to reward ourselves.
But reward ourselves for what? Simply for being human. Not for being beautiful, or clever, or good. The advertisers want to make it clear that we all qualify, that we all deserve the best, the newest, the fastest. That's how they sell things.
We might well disagree, and argue that people are very different, that some deserve rewards far more than others. Or, if we are of a negative mindset, that none of us deserve rewards at all. "Use every man according to his deserts", said Hamlet, "and who would 'scape whipping?"
God, however, seems in one way to be on the side of the advertisers. Yes, he says, you are all worth it - so much so that the one who was chosen before the creation of the world was revealed for your sake. This was how Peter expressed it; and Paul put it like this: "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might be rich" (2 Cor. 8:9).
Grace - surely, grace is the key. We are worth it - but we haven't deserved it.
So wherever we are today - at home, at work, in hospital - whether successful or frustrated, stimulated or bored, hopeful or discouraged, fit or disabled, we are not to measure ourselves by other people or by the standards of the world. Indeed, hard though it is, we are not to measure ourselves at all. But rather we are to live in the astonishing certainty that to the God of creation we are worth saving, individually cherished and infinitely precious.
Isn't that what's so amazing about grace?
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