May Photo A Day, Day 5: Paper

Today's Photo A Day prompt was "paper." I photographed my Bible turned to the scripture reading from this morning's worship service. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul addresses one of the central paradoxes of the Christian faith. Because of the grace of Jesus, we are justified--atoned, made one with God. We don't have to be "good enough." We are loved in spite of ourselves. We don't have to do anything. And yet, if we don't do anything, we have missed the point. We are already justified, but the process of sanctification is ongoing, and it takes work. Trying to be like Jesus--acting like a "citizen of heaven" is not easy. I am thankful that Christ freed me from the requirement of perfection. But that thankfulness is the very reason I want to strive for perfection. As Rob Bell put it in Velvet Elvis, "There is this person who we already are in God's eyes. And we are learning to live like it is true."

Lord Jesus, please help us to live up to what we have already attained. Amen.