Sometimes, my noodling on the guitar is a form of prayer; meditating on a theme, a joy or concern. Today, inspired by a reading (below), I pondered the theme of grace this season.
John said that him and his friends saw the Glory of the unseen YHWH and it was full of Grace and Truth. TRUTH- Defined as “the actual state of the matter; seeing things for the way they are.” It’s interesting that those who spent time with Jesus consistently described Him as being “full of truth.” Having a clear perspective. Truth is 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭. GRACE - What I’ve come to understand is that grace is the antidote to the ailment of shame. Shame believes one lacks what it takes to be loved and must strive to earn Love. It’s just an endless jog on the janky treadmill of striving. To see Jesus as full of grace means there wasn’t any perfection checklist that was met to deserve His presence. His arrival stands against the idea that if you do it right, you get access to His presence. His presence was freely given and never withheld. Grace is 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘥. My friend Tom told me he stopped being a Christian because it stopped making sense. The idea of being created by a God who is wrathful toward you the moment you emerge from the womb - and always will be, unless you say a magic sentence of belief to that God - started to sound like crazy talk to him. He knew he had his faults, but if the starting place to a relationship with his Creator was not being loved because he wasn’t created perfect enough by that Creator, he couldn’t do it. Everything was already stacked against him. Religion stops working for a lot of people because of their belief that who they really are... 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭... is rejected by the Giver. Why would the Giver reject what It gave? Incarnation proclaims that the unseen YHWH comes to us full of grace and truth - comes seeing us in all our real, right now, just as we are. Grace and truth releases us from the janky treadmill of religious striving and invites us to a long walk on the beach as ones who love each other. (subtle Footprints reference) This is why the kingdom of heaven is built on the foundation of forgiveness. For Given-Ness - presence not withheld in the midst of seeing the real. “𝗙𝗢𝗥 unto us a child is born . . . unto us a son is 𝗚𝗜𝗩𝗘𝗡.”