Monday, 31 October 2011

the 'grace' thang...

The phone has just rung: was I interested in the completely free double-glazing of all my windows being offered?
Ah... an offer to good to refuse.
And so, naturally, I politely refused and wished the chap on the other end of the line a nice day.

'There's no such thing as a free lunch...', nor, I feel, free windows.
However the brief conversational interlude seems apt to think a little on the nature of grace.

In the church, we bang on about the grace of God - a free, unmerited gift - and at times, politely refuse to accept the gift, or ignore it quietly.
Conditions are placed on it: you get the grace thang when you do x or y.
Nope.
We get the grace thang.
Full Stop.

And because it is freely given, it is oft-times politely and not-so-politely refused.  As if we just can't believe it.
By extension, it is then easy to point fingers, to refuse to act in grace, to be ungracious.
We, as this rag-tag broken body of Christ, differ on opinions so vehemently at times that lack of grace blinds us to the fact that regardless of opinion, we are all of us created in the image of God, and loved utterly.

Grace is a paradox:
Grace is free,
Grace is costly.

Look where grace got Jesus....
It is a kenotic - self-giving - thing that, taken to the limit goes beyond our limits.

And grace, though freely given, is constantly challenging.
Grace challenges me to see the face of God even in - especially in - the one who calls me an 'abomination';
to look beyond the words and see a beloved brother or sister in Christ who is probably as full of contradictions and mess as I am. 
Grace challenges me to avoid retaliating through the use of dehumanising language borne out of hurt and frustration.

Grace, then, is that free gift which challenges me to meet others in, and with, that same grace given to me, and yet, even as I do so, it is grace that holds me up, gives me strength, causes me to laugh out loud at times... and keeps me going.  And even should I choose to refuse that challenge, grace remains.

I came across the following from the blog-site 
'christians tired of being misrepresented' and thought it worth chewing over... 

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