Unmasking Grace

 

When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, i hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel giulty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal. I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer….In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God’s grace means….My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” — Brennan Manning in The Ragamuffin Gospel Visual Edition

Today I did some reading in the book mentioned above. The Visual Edition is striking in the way the images bring the writing to a whole new level. Grace is the message that all lost people long to hear … Jesus really likes you – and He knows you well!

Grace is a fearful message for many believers, for they fear people will be let off the hook. Why are we so anxious to keep people on the hook?

I think Grace is fearful for many because some think it means that God does not expect us to obey Him. I wonder if we ever think that one reason we need grace so desperately is because we so often choose not to obey Him?

In the end sometimes believers get put into the uncomfortable position of saying that grace is OK for ME but not for sinners.

What can we learn from  defrocked Jesuit priest … married and divorced … admitted alcoholic … Brennan Manning? I think we can learn a lot from him because he has nothing left to hold onto except grace.

Neither do we, but we tend to mask that truth even from ourselves.

Thanks for reading,

John

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