Monday 20 July 2009

The Offense of Grace- Steve McVey

I liked Steve Mc Vey's post so much I wrote:"Grace is the force that takes the rocket out of the gravitation field of Law. People see it as being soft on sin. But it's not being soft on sin anymore than a rocket is being soft on gravity. It's so far above gravity, it couldn't care less!"

Here then is his post. Click on the header below for the original.

The Offense of Grace
The thing about grace that many have a problem with is its appearance of being carelessly and indiscriminately thrown around by our Heavenly Father as if there is no limit to it. It just isn’t right by human standards. After all, fair is fair. Give people an inch and they’ll take a mile. Go soft on those who have sinned and the next thing you know everybody is doing it. People make their beds and they should lie in it. They need to learn their lesson. You’ve got to think about the message you’re sending!Jesus didn’t seem to worry about all that in His ministry. He just loved people and poured out grace, grace, and more grace on the most unlikely candidates. It galls the self righteous when their own sense of justice is violated, but Jesus never seemed to worry about what they thought. He seemed to show such little discernment in how and to whom He gave so much. Even His stories seem to communicate a message that sounds downright wrong to religious ears.In the parable of the laborers found in Matthew 20, those who came in to work at the last hour received the same salary as those who had worked all day. Those with the admirable ethic of hard work and dependability had been out in the hot sun all day long. Then the slackers show up at the last hour and get the same pay? Come on now! What’s fair about that? Then there is the prodigal son – a religious zealots worst nightmare. Here, this young boy in the youth group decides he wants to leave it all and move to Los Angeles. He asks His father to give him his inheritance (a subliminal insinuation that he has been thinking he’d be better off if his Dad was dead) and off he goes to the big city. His life soon becomes a blur of Jack Daniels, marijuana and strip clubs.When all his money is gone and he wakes up in bed one morning and rolls over to see a skanky-looking crack whore (a King James Bible word) who he doesn’t even remember meeting, he is jolted back to reality. “I’m outta here,” he thinks to himself. “Even Dad’s minimum wage guys at home don’t have to live like this.”So off he goes, hitchhiking home and all the way thinking of how he will grovel when he gets there, how he will promise to do better if Dad will only give him back his old room. “I’ll even sleep in the barn if you want me to,” he figures he’ll say.You know how the story ends. The moment comes when this scraggly looking, nasty smelling, son comes stumbling up the long driveway. His Dad sees him and immediately tears out running at full throttle. He falls on his boy and, oblivious to the stench, starts laughing and crying, hugging and kissing him, all at the same time. The son is forgiven before he even asks.The boy chokes up and tries to talk. This isn’t what he had expected. He gets out half a sentence when Dad interrupts and yells orders to fire up the grill, call our family and friends, see if JJT is available (Jerusalem Jazz Trio) and let’s get this party started! Hmm...that’s a strange story, Jesus. Don’t you think it might give the wrong message? “No,” our loving Savior would answer. “It gives the right message. The message is this: It doesn’t matter how pathetic you are, how low you have gone and how long you have been there, I love you and accept you.”It isn’t about you and me. It never has been and never will be. It’s about Him and His ridiculous, irrational, excessive, loving grace. The self righteous crowd might as well shut up. Jesus is Jesus and He’s not going to change to fit their expectations. Thank God.

1 comment:

lydia said...

Love this!!!