We live in a consumer society. For us, life is made up of transactions: the things we earn, the things we buy, the things we have or don’t have. And because of that, we can unconsciously reduce the gospel to a transaction as well. When asked, “What is the basic message of the Christian faith?” we often answer, “It’s about receiving God’s forgiveness and the free gift of salvation.”
There is truth in this answer—God does freely forgive—but it is also incomplete; because Christianity is not ultimately about the exchange of goods—even a “good” as amazing as salvation. Christianity is about the union of persons. That is what Jesus offers us in the gospel. He doesn’t invite us to trust in Him so that we get a commodity like forgiveness or a “ticket to Heaven”; He invites us to trust in Him so that we get just that—Him! Indeed, Advent reminds us He is the great gift given to the world.
This is what Amore, with its emphasis on the picture of marriage, holds before us: the gospel of union and the God who gave his very body on the cross to unite us to Himself, to call us His bride (Eph. 5:32). Let’s celebrate and proclaim this God together, whose love is so amazing that He gives nothing less than Himself to all who would receive Him.
Have you tended to think of the gospel in terms of a transaction or “exchange of goods?” How does the gospel of union change your understanding of the Christian life? How might it change the way you share the good news with others?