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What it means

Often I have wondered at the various aspects of Christianity that have held the greatest obvious attraction in different ages.

In the recent past, conviction of sin was a heavy burden, something few give more than a passing thought to today. And with the threat of death curtailed by the ability of modern medicine to bring us back to life from the brink of mortality, fear of death isn't something we hear a lot about today; but not long ago death was a constant companion -- any injury could mean tetanus, any fever could be terminal; an "attack" of any kind, whether from enemy or illness, was an occasion for mortal fear... people died young and the reassurance of immortal life after death and restoration to lost loved ones was a primary attraction. No doubt for the generations following Adam and Eve the stories of idylic life in Eden meant salvation represented freedom from the burden of scratching out a living by toil.

What is it about Biblical restoration of righteous relationship with God that means most in our day? Only the future will tell, as those after us look back on the rhetoric of modern evangelists. It's clear to me that walking with Jesus means different things to different people. I vaguely remember the nine-year-old me, with my Catholic-nun-inspired awe of an all-seeing, all-powerful, all-loving God, feeling that giving myself to God was the only road to security. At 32, He was the only sure source of love, acceptance, and help. Recently, I'm convicted that to be out of fellowship with God is to be on the receiving end of chastisement, if not wrath, and to be seeking Jesus' face is to both humble myself and to take hold of the glory of His power to lift me up.

To cut absolutely, directly to the chase, without picking all these motivations to pieces, the bottom line in every age comes down to craving one thing... Love. God is love and taking the leap of faith to accept the Gift of His Son is to receive release from the conviction of sin, the promise of eternal life in the company of all the saints, freedom from toil, and blessed assurance of fellowship with the One whose love and care is total and everlasting.

Too true to believe, many in every age have said... yet all to be had for the price of placing your trust in Jesus and, in raw faith, leaping the chasm of logical unbelief into His arms. Blessed is the name of Jesus. Come Holy Spirit.
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