WE ARE NOT GOD’S GATEKEEPERS
(Wednesday, May 3)
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” (Jn 6:37-39)
In today’s Gospel-reading, our Lord Jesus Christ promises us that He does not come into our midst, in the flesh, in order to act as a gatekeeper at the gates of His Father’s kingdom. Christ sees “all” of us who come to Him as a gift from His Father, “given” to Him by the Father, so He will “by no means cast out” this gift, because it is given Him by the will of His Father. As He so often reminds us in this Gospel, He has come not to do His own will, but the will of Him who sent Him. Why does the God Man share this point with us so often, that He is doing not His own will (as if it were not sufficient), but that of His Father? I think it’s because, as one of us, He is offering us an example of how *we*, whenever we are called to carry His message, are to perceive ourselves and “all” those who might come to Him, via this message that is not from us but from God. It is easy for us, both personally and collectively, as Orthodox Christians, to slip into carrying *our* message according to *our* will, rather than His message according to His will.
Our own baggage, – personal, ideological, and/or political, can obstruct the way to Him if we lose sight of the fact that *we* are not called to bring anyone to *our* ideas and ideologies, but to manifest Christ, Whose power and presence endures beyond all that. “He must increase, but I must decrease,” as John the Baptist says of the Lamb of God and himself. (Jn 3:30) So let us not fear being “decreased,” as we carry His message today, the message of One who does not cast us out, as we sometimes tend to do to one another. Christ is Risen!