Psalm: 49
Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from Against the Heresies by St. Ireneaus

Coat of Arms for the Diocese of Huron (where I am currently living/working)

Truly, no ransom avails for one’s life,*
there is no price one can give to God for it.
For the ransom of life is costly,
and can never suffice,
that one should live on for ever
and never see the grave.* (Psalm 49:7-9)

That’s atonement theory in a nutshell folks :)……Amazing how it has antecedents here in the Psalter :D…

There is nothing that we can offer God that would be of the same value as the gift of life. There is nothing that we can give that makes up for the wrongs we have done in our lives.

That very helplessness is the reason that Christ entered the world. Since there was nothing that we could offer God….God offered Himself for us. Since there was no one holy enough to atone for the sins of the faithful, Jesus spilled his own Precious Blood that we might have eternal life……What an incredible gift! ❤

So how do we respond as the Church? How do we express gratitude for this incredible Grace? I think the words of the BCP sum it up best.

And here we offer unto thee O Lord; our selves, our souls, and bodies. To be a reasonable and living sacrifice unto thee. And although we are unworthy..yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you we have to feel thankful 100% of the time every single day. Of course there are going to be times when we downright hate God for giving us so much grief in life…..But rather, unceasing thankfulness is the goal …..It is not a finished product that is magically bestowed on us…..but something we have to work really hard to develop.

As we have entered into a new liturgical year this Advent….maybe that can be one of our “New Year’s resolutins”. To refocus our energies on giving thanks for blessings in our lives….instead of counting and dreading the stumbling blocks in our way. +