Too often, we speak of “accepting Christ as Lord and Savior” as if that meant negotiating a personal services contract with the Almighty, as if we had something to offer that he wanted in return for what he has on offer that we want. In fact, we are all rebels, beaten in the field and cut off from resupply, whose only power is to dig in and fight hopelessly for the sake of our pride even while we live by looting our own side. And to us, God sends his messenger to offer us mercy and peace – but only if we will surrender ourselves and promise to follow him as our rightful lord. There is no room for pride in that. The first step on the way home is often the hardest step of all, and we don’t do people any favors by making them think that it’s easier than it is.