There aren’t many directives at the core of the Christian faith. Though many churches and spiritual leaders have taken the faith and drawn from it a lot of exhortations - or “shoulds” - on the part of the reader/listener, the “good news” is not the same thing as “good/strong advice”.
“Good news” is something that already is. It points to an event that has happened in time regardless of what we do or think.
The only directive that I can see throughout the Gospels with no contradiction is this...
We are to accept that we are accepted.
This seems to sit at the core of the Christian faith: God’s reckless and radical acceptance of humanity.
We forget - and will forget - this often. The world often reminds us of how worthless it deems us to be. Many people profit from this flawed and toxic notion. It’s how our system of reward and punishment works.
But in God - through Christ - we are forever accepted. Jesus shows us what God is willing to do in order to show His acceptance of us. That he’d rather die than continue the retributive role that we try to place on him.
It’s the world that keeps score. Not God.
God only accepts.
It’s the incarnation of this God that we celebrate this Advent season.
[If you’d like to go deeper into this concept, I invite you to join my upcoming 8-week book study of The Universal Christ by Fr. Richard Rohr. The price goes up in 24 hours! Click here to learn more.]
Grace & Godspeed,