Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day Three-Hundred Thirty-Six: Unsettling Grace

Part two of Far-Sighted is here. Bang-o!

Today, Kim and I got a gift from our church. Two gifts, actually. Two very significant gifts. I won't go into more detail than that, but believe me when I say they were significant and nothing that we had ever, so far as I can remember, asked for.

Both our minds were blown. The outpouring of generosity was appreciated, obviously, but wow. It was nothing we were expecting. It wasn't even something we were in dire need of (though, believe me, we can find immediate use for the gift). As far as I'm concerned, it wasn't at all the kind of gesture that I'd think a church would be expected to provide.

It was just pure, honest generosity. Completely unexpected, completely uncalled for. And it took a good half an hour for me to wrap my mind around it.

True grace. Amazing. I vaguely remember the first time I started to grasp the utter unexpected unfairness in Christ's sacrifice for my sin, personally. When you grow up in the church surrounded by pictures of Jesus on a cross, it can be difficult to picture Him as anything other than the willing sacrifice. Which, of course, He is, but as it becomes sort of an expected characteristic of Jesus (Oh, yeah, that's Jesus. He dies and comes back to life to save me) it tends to lose the reverent awe and dumbfoundedness that ought to attend the magnitude of the sacrifice. (The Word become flesh??? God sent His Son for MAN??? The Creator laying down His life for the creation??? While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us???)

Grace, in its truest form, is a bit unsettling. And sometimes we need the reminder.

Show grace to somebody really undeserving this week. God does it daily for me.