“Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Mk 10:17 GNB
We all assume that we have to do something in relation to God. We think we must pray and talk a lot. We think we need to do some heroic act that will make God take notice. We think we must give a lot of money – if only we had it in the first place to give! Maybe if we left our native country and went out to preach the gospel in some far-off remote place?
The man who came running up to Jesus was rich. Maybe it was significant that a rich man wanted to do something? Maybe he was accustomed to impressing people. Maybe that horn-shaped drum at the temple that rattled when the rich people put coins in it would clatter and clang a lot if he threw plenty of money into it? That was what it was for – to advertise a person’s generosity. But what Jesus was offering wasn’t to be bought. It was God’s own Kingdom, his kind of life, the deep rich quality of life that Jesus called “eternal life” and had the quality of eternity. And it was precious – more precious than anything that could be valued in monetary terms. The real answer the man needed was to be told, “No, it isn’t like that at all. It’s about submitting to God and to his kingly rule in your life. It’s about letting Christ, his love and his compassion, in and letting them flood everything in your existence.
That’s what you have to do too. You have to let Christ in, his love, the people he wants you to love – the last, the lost and the least – until there’s no room left for yourself.
Lord, come in and fill my life with your love.