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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Today's Scripture Reading | Hebrews 2:1–10

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere, “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.” Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (NRSV)

The heading for this section of scripture is “Warning to Pay Attention.” That seems pretty on the nose for the current time we’re living in. We’re bombarded with so much information, much of it based on falsehood, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed whenever you log into social media. It is precisely because of this environment that this admonition takes on such importance.

We must pay greater attention to and cling to the message of salvation, despite the distractions of our day, because that message is life-changing: that Jesus Christ came into the world to suffer with us and for us, giving the ultimate example of love and grace that we are called to emulate.

While the early Christians may not have faced the exact same distractions that we do, they were under attack, oppressed and persecuted daily by the existing religious authorities and an occupying force. In the face of this persecution, they were called, just as we are called, to focus on our faith and what it calls us to do.

When we keep our mind on the grace and salvation of Christ and, through the Holy Spirit, live that grace into the world, we can overcome the hate, evil, discord, and injustice that permeates. We can take part in building God’s kingdom here on earth.

Lord, help us to be centered on you in all that we do. Help us embody your grace and love and, through your Holy Spirit, live that into the world in all our thoughts and actions. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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