The apostle Paul was clear in his preaching—the world needs a Savior,
and Jesus is it! He makes the case very strongly by showing Jesus’ heritage
as a descendant of David, as the one that John the Baptizer preached
about, and the one that God had promised in the Old Testament. But a
Savior can do nothing if we do not recognize our need to be saved. Paul
proclaims loud and clear that Jesus is available if we will only recognize our
need of him.
To be saved by Christ does not mean only that we wait for some eternal
bliss. Nor does it mean that we just sit back and let it happen to us. Rather,
when Jesus comes to save us, he means to transform us, and to lead us
into a new way of being that expresses the fullness of God’s grace and life
now. Once again, the sacrament of baptism is mentioned in today’s
reading, because it is the sign of God’s welcoming, transforming, and
saving grace. But it is also a proclamation of our faith to those around us.
Like John, we who have come to know God’s love and restoration are
called to reveal God’s salvation to the world through lives that reflect the
values and priorities of Jesus. Only when our lives naturally bring love,
justice, and salvation to others, do we really experience God’s gift of
salvation for ourselves. This kind of salvation really does a make a
difference to our world, and we all need it.
If we long for ourselves and our world to be saved, one of the best things
we can do is pray. Prayer changes us and opens us to God’s saving power.
Today, whenever you see or feel a need that requires God’s salvation, offer
a quick prayer.
Come, O Jesus, and save us.