“Life Matters”
A couple of weeks ago as I was leaving Houston Hospice, I looked up and noticed something on the sign that I had not recognized before.  In small letters underneath the actual moniker, it simply said “Life Matters.” At that moment, I was struck by those words. Deeply significant, it summed up for me the message of Christmas.  
In our world today, it is easy to overlook something as significant as the words on a sign. For years, I have visited this special place and never paid close attention to the signage, however, on this evening, it was different. It was the season of Advent and as most people were preparing for the joyous arrival of Jesus, this family was preparing to say goodbye to their loved one.

The contrast was profound. I was conflicted at best. I was torn from the joy and anticipation of the upcoming Christmas Season with the reality of dealing with the tragedy of life’s circumstances. Nothing seemed clearer than “Life Matters.”
In our faith tradition, we learn from the beginning of time that our human life is unique. Made in the image of God, our creation sets us apart. Nonetheless, history teaches us that we have gone rogue only to find God desperately trying to get our attention and get us back on track.

So important are we to Him that He stopped at nothing to bring us back into the fold. Like a shepherd herding His flock, God’s concern is for all of us, even if one goes astray.  
From the early church fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Joshua) to the Judges, Kings and Prophets, it is clear that God is in motion.

The image of God chasing after us, much like a father chasing after his willful child headed for a busy street, captures our attention. His sole desire is to bring us back to safety and back into the fold. Left to our own devices, He knows we cannot save ourselves. No matter how hard we try, our human nature will always fall short.  

Our need for God goes without saying and history is proof of this. Our lives matter so much to Him that God ultimately gifted us with the One who mattered most to Him. As the incarnation of God, Jesus is proof that our “life matters.” 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16, NIV)
The Rev. Martin J. Bastian
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