Fr. Eric McIntosh ’12, Pastor of St. James Episcopal Church, Penn Hills, Pa.
30 "I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But I have a testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. 39 "You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 I do not accept glory from human beings. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 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? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"
I believe that sometimes we really get Jesus upset. Jesus comes with eternal life in his hands but often finds many of us rejecting his gift. Don’t get me wrong—we want life . . . we just don’t want Jesus. We look for life in our places of employment, in our degrees, in our spouses, our bank accounts, and our possessions. When we find that these temporal things or people fail us, we look to upgrade. We find ourselves in a lifestyle of acquisition and in turn really miss out on truth and blessing because we look for the eternal in the temporal. We make Jesus even more frustrated when we say we are His but live as though He is not ours. Jesus told those who rejected him, that neither the word nor the love of God was in them. This Advent season as he comes, is he telling us the same?
Jesus, as you come to us, help us to come to you for life, eternal life, the most wonderful gift possible. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.