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March 2011 Archive for Bishop's Message

RSS By: Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo

The Rev. Dr. Robert Rimbo shares regular thoughts and reflections about our life together.

Gifts to us

Mar 18, 2011

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I love the gospel readings for Lent, and especially those in this year A of the cycle. They offer what I consider to be fundamental stories, insights and gifts to us.

Take, for example, the story of Nicodemus’ visit to Jesus from John 3. I’m afraid we have heard this Gospel so much that we cease to marvel at it. What the church throughout the ages has called the great Paschal Mystery, and what many have come to know as the gospel in a nutshell, is the burning center of our life, proclaimed in this reading.

We need to marvel more at this gift. We need to stand with jaws dropped and eyes wide open before this mystery.

God gave. That’s a central fact of our life as Christians. And it takes the church’s year to unpack it. The gift was a baby sleeping in the straw, Son of God and Son of Mary. The gift was an adolescent going about his Father’s business. The gift was a man who scuffed the dust of Palestine because the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, anointed him to preach good news to the poor, sent him to proclaim release to the captives, give sight to the blind, and set at liberty the oppressed. The gift was God sold for silver by one of his friends, delivered to his enemies by a cowardly Roman ruler, whipped like an animal, crowned with thorns, pinned to twin beams of wood, and left to die between criminals. And the gift was raised by the power of God.

God gave, and what a gift it was and is!

A gift because we had no claim on Christ, did not deserve Christ. A gift born for you and me, lived for you and me, died and rose for you and me. The Bible says, God, who is rich in mercy, out of great love, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him…For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.

To give us life. What a gift!

 

Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo

 

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