Christ the source of our salvation
Our Prayer Book for Australia (APBA) sums up how we are saved by the birth and ministry of Jesus in the Eucharistic prayer on page 139…
Loving God… we thank you that when we turned away from you, you sent Jesus to live and work as one of us, and bring us back to you. He showed us how to love you and set us free to love and serve one another… on the cross Jesus took away our sin, all that keeps us from each other and from you. He frees us from hate and fear, from all that destroys love and trust.
The Incarnation – God becoming fully human while still fully divine, in the person of Jesus Christ – indicates an understanding that salvation comes about not just through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. We are “saved” through his saving life as well.
Professor Dorothy Lee has written:
Indeed the whole of the Jesus-event – birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection – are all part of what we mean when we speak of Christ as the source of our salvation.
The child, lying in a manger some 2000 years ago in Bethlehem, grew up and became the wandering teacher, healer and disciple-maker. He was no disembodied spirit fluttering above human life.
He gathered disciples as he walked Galilee’s dusty roads and invited ordinary folk to walk with him. He healed people with physical infirmities, even untouchable lepers. He brought healing to people with all kinds of mental, spiritual and emotional troubles.
He was willing to extend his kindness in a tribal culture to people outside the tribe. He healed a Canaanite woman's child and a man living in an unclean cemetery.
He ate and had table fellowship with sinners. When the wine ran out, he made more. He urged his followers to be extravagantly generous and to lend without expectation of return.
His teaching was a message of love and compassion, clothed in the language and stories of earthy, everyday life. He not only brought a message that was addressed to real people and their real problems, but he fully embodied that message in his life in this real world.
In Jesus we discover a new way of living in the world and are given an eternal quality of life available in the here and now to those who accept God’s invitation to turn their lives towards God.
Thanks be to God. Amen.