Today was Skype date day with my beautiful young friend who lives much too far away.
She is easily half my age but we grew up in the same church tradition. The same religious traditions pressed in on her with little difference than my own experience. We both grew up hearing about grace, singing about it and learning acronyms that did little to really plant the beauty of grace in to our hearts.
She asked the rhetorical age old questions “Why isn’t grace enough?”
In a world where we rely on ourselves, our own self righteousness and we fail miserably over and over again, we just can’t seem to get a grip on the true beauty of grace. The idea that performance can get us somewhere that has already been paid for as if we are now vying for a better seat in Heaven as if some of us are relegated to the balcony or the nosebleed seats.
How soon we have forgotten that we will all be at His feet some day. Every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. Somehow, that still isn’t enough for us to just get to know Him more.
My heart for ministry is the same. Instead of so many flashy programs or events, why don’t we just make room for those who want to come worship Him. Why do we have so many moments of talking about Jesus and so few of talking to Him.
When my daughter was six weeks old, we had her dedicated at church. Afterwards we hosted an open house where friends could celebrate with us. Partway through I excused myself to her nursery to feed her. When I came out, several guests had left with the neighbor to take a tour of their home just a block away. No one in that group even bothered to let us know they were leaving or bid us goodbye.
I’ve often wondered if we do that to Christ when we come to church to see each other and forget to say Hi. We might even talk about Him but do we talk more about what we’re going to do to bring people to Him than the time we take in His presence?
I picture it all like three hour party that takes twenty hours of planning and setup. We attend to every detail, most that go unseen and spend little time actually interacting with the guests.
For a couple of years I have craved an old, beat up farm table to put under our shade trees. Nothing fancy, just sturdy and large for heavy conversations. Big enough to build friends and welcoming enough to linger over slow cooked food.
The earmark of the Jesus movement in the late 60s was the way it peeled back the layers of religious trappings to reveal the pure and simple grace of God. The beauty brought a whole generation to its knees. God’s deep passionate love is what drew so many in to relationship with Himself and each other.
Live Gently, Love Passionately. This is the song He is weaving through my heart,
I will be writing, speaking, praying and living this as I continue to respond to the calling on my heart. I’m excited to share it here and where ever He leads me in the days ahead.
Let’s unravel it together as we lean in to what He has planned.