CNEWA

ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

Meditation: God’s Pattern

God’s design for us is in his Son.

“Coming into his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? …This is the carpenter’s son, surely?’ …And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house,’ and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matt 13:54-58)

It would have been easier for the people of Nazareth to accept Jesus as the Messiah if he had been born into their midst in a fiery chariot, descending from the clouds with an escort of angels. But he was not. He was born into their midst through Mary; he was “the carpenter’s son,” a descendant of David. In his appearance, he was as any other man. God refused to let His Son appear as anything other than he was: fully human, at the same time that he was divine.

There is a human thirst for the spectacular, for the clearly supernatural, for amazing signs and wonders. And they were present in the life of Jesus – but not as much as his contemporaries would have liked….

…If we had our way, we would redesign Christianity, so that signs and wonders abounded more and patient service less, so that faith came effortlessly and our cross was more comfortable, so that our life was one unending series of joyful triumphs.

But Jesus is the design of the Father for us, and the norm for what it means to be Christian. In his life we find the pattern that we are called to imitate. It is a pattern made up of humble service as well as resurrection. God’s pattern for us is a plan that promises us life – but life as He would give it to us.

Originally published in New Covenant magazine. P.O. Box 8617, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107. Reprinted with permission.

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