23 Dec

This quote, from George Eldon Ladd’s book, A Theology of the New Testament, comes on the heels of a Christmas celebration in which I spoke to the way in which there was no room for the Christ in the inn.  Similarly, there is often no room for Christ in our lives, due in large part to our focus on the things of this world:

It will profit one nothing “to gain the whole world and forfeit his life” (Mark 8:36).  In this context the “world” (kosmos) is not the physical world or the world of humankind, but the whole complex of human earthly experience.  To achieve everything one could desire on the human level is not evil, but it does not minister to one’s true life.  A person can gain everything on the human level but forfeit his or her true life, which can be found only in relationship to God.  When the riches of the world become the chief end of one’s interest so that they crowd out the things of God, they become an instrument of sin and death (Lk. 12:16-21, 30).  It is easy for those who have much to love their possessions.  Only a work of God, enabling them to put God first, can overcome this natural human love for the world (Mk. 10:27).

Perhaps this is a pertinent subject for this holiday season in which many gifts are given, much food is eaten and money is spent.  If our lives are not oriented properly, they will be lacking, and if we are not found in right relationship with God through Christ (whose birth we celebrate in the coming days), this whole life–and everything in it–has only served to forfeit our true life to come.


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