If you’re a Christian, I know you believe Jesus is God. Do you want to know what God looks like? We can look to Jesus, who will show us who God is! As we continue in our Advent theme of adoration, we can focus on and deeply appreciate Jesus’ reflection of the Father. Jesus never makes any person sick to punish them. Notice how Jesus invited sinners, many of whom were considered horrible outcasts, to the table to eat with Him. Jesus didn’t get upset at their wrongdoings. The people He did get upset with were not the people you’d think — they were religious leaders.
In contrast, the gods of this world consume the life of their worshipers, and their worshipers like being consumed by them. Our present-day gods include cell phones, social media, and the internet. Author Neil Gaiman in his fantasy novel “American Gods,” had a common theme I will paraphrase: “Whatever your gods are, they draw their power from the number of people who worship them.” But our God is the exact inverse of that. He doesn’t consume us. We consume Him! Quite literally! We eat of the bread of life, and we drink of the living water.
Friend, our God is everything we need to live a joyous life. When all the other gods are the gods of “give to me,” our God says to pay it forward. You’re still giving, but you give away from yourself in a way that your life exemplifies the belief and trust that you’re in God’s loving care. Therefore, you will pay it forward to others, just as Jesus did!