Friday, October 26, 2012

How humiliating!

Working on Romans 3:19-28 this week.  Remembering and celebrating the Reformation. One thought that struck me in the reading is this: Faith is not an act or an effort, but a response, a recognition of my dependence on God. 

The reason this has been rattling around in my head during the preparations for this Sunday is that it reminded me that the only way I can bring grace and forgiveness to others and to any situation is if I first admit and accept my own need for them.  Unfortunately, that's a very hard admission to make and it can really puncture the old ego. Ouch!  Good works are easier.  This Gospel stuff is too difficult. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

From "GULP!!??!!" to grace

(Sorry...been away on holidays the past couple of weeks so hence the silence that you may have noticed...or maybe you didn't.  Anyway on to this week's thoughts.)

Hebrews 4:12-16 is a nice transition.
You begin reading in verses 12 and 13. There you are confronted with images of the Word of God as active and living. Surgical in nature. Judgmental in attitude. Revealing in action. Nothing is hidden.  Verses like these are ones that remind me just how much trouble I am in.  I know my dirty secrets. The sins and imperfections I cover up or justify. There is no wiggle room left.  All is exposed. I am exposed and asked to give an account of myself.  It's not good.

Then the author takes us further in 14 and 15. Suddenly I am not on my own. I have an intercessor, a high priest who goes into the presence of God on my behalf. A high priest who serves in strength and perfection. I may be exposed, but I am not isolated and alone. Jesus is my mediator and the results are wonderful.

Verse 16 finds me approaching the throne of God with confidence. Even though I am exposed. Even though every failing, sin and act of rebellion that is mine is revealed. I approach with confidence because in and through Christ and his work I receive grace and mercy. The throne is no longer the site of judgement, but the source of grace.

Now I find that good news.