What do we mean when we speak of Jesus as Messiah and Saviour? There are so many meanings to these words that we need to be careful not to reduce them to only a small glimpse of the whole. One of the ways we reduce the power of these titles is when we make them all about escaping from this world and spending eternity somewhere else. Jesus does offer us forgiveness, freedom from the power of sin, and eternal life. But Jesus also offers us a new way of living here and now. As Messiah, Jesus is the one who establishes God’s Reign among us, and who empowers us to live as citizens of God’s Reign who participate in making God’s dream for the cosmos a reality. As Saviour, Jesus breaks the power of evil, death, violence, retaliation, and hatred by absorbing the worst that humanity can do and refusing to retaliate, and by showing us a different way to live. In this way, Jesus saves us from our worst selves, here and now, and leads us to live from our best.

So, we have no need to wait for heaven after we die. We can begin to experience God’s life, grace, love, liberty and justice now – God’s kingdom coming to us here on earth, as Jesus taught us to pray. And, as we grow in our understanding and experience of God’s Reign, so we begin to share the life and love we have received with those around us. In this way we contribute to the expansion of God’s dream in the world, and we participate in the saving work of Jesus.

This week we meditate on God’s salvation as a present reality in which we participate here and now.

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