As we leave the Easter season, I often find myself contemplating salvation and God’s unfathomable love. Several years ago, a gentleman who said he had a question for me visited me at home while I was walking our dog. I thought he was selling something as I observed him go from house to house in the cul-de-sac. I tried to encourage our dog to hurry up, but he was uncooperative. So I braced myself for a sales pitch. Instead I was asked the following, “Are you saved?” This is a profound and important question, which we should struggle with. I struggled with my response for many weeks after this visit, and I continue to struggle with this question still today. My struggle is not because I do not know and place my faith in Jesus. My struggle has to do with the finality of the word “saved.”
“Saved” sounds like something that happened in the past. There is good reason for this. Jesus’ salvific birth, life, death, and resurrection happened one time for all people throughout time. In this sense I understand the word “saved,” and yet I am still troubled. I believe my trouble comes from the idea that saved might imply that God is done with me, as if I have reached some plateau and all is well with the world and me. My experience tells me something different. So I prefer to think that Jesus’ sacrifice opened the door of the house of salvation and that I, through God’s grace and my faith, have walked in that house. This, however, is a monumental house. This is not a finish line, but an invitation. God is not done with me yet. This place is a home for growing and changing. This growth and change occurs through relationships with the new family I have found in this home. We pray together, eat together, serve together, and even die to our old ways together. God is here, too. In fact, when we are together, it is God who greets us and leads us.
So the gentleman’s question remains, “Are you saved?” My answer is that by the grace of God found and through relationship with God and others, I am being saved. Every day is a new opportunity to grow closer to God and others. Every day is a new opportunity to become more like Jesus who by His great love opened a door for all to be saved, if we will only take that step. By the grace of God, I hope to see myself growing in love while trusting in Jesus’ love. I pray I am attentive to the ways God continues to save and transform us. Salvation is not just a one-time event, it is an ongoing transformative relationship with the God who continues to invite all into this new home. We are saved from perpetual separation from God and saved for union with God in His kingdom.
So the question we all should be asking ourselves is, “Are we responding to the God who longs to save us?”
May we answer God’s salvific call and forever respond to the grace that is transforming the world. Amen.
God is not done with us yet!