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February 14, 2006

stairwell accompaniment:Counting Crows

the things i struggle with. innumerable. but a major one over the past few years has been my thoughts and actions and attitudes toward the church. and i’ve continually worked to move from the The Church attitude and closer toward the bride of Christ(!) line of thinking. a difficult process full of baggage and selfishness and my failure to have “contempt for contempt” rather than the contempt for anyone or anyone who injurs me in any way i’ve become accustomed to. the bride of Christ. and i’m realizing that i can’t third-person this concept. do i not call myself a follower of Chist? if so, am i not also the body of Christ? so my hope for myself (as my part in that bride) and for the bride (big picture here) if that people would never come to this bride with a genuine desire to learn and walk away feeling as if we’ve made it too difficult for them to choose Jesus. do we act as an obstacle to Jesus, holding too tightly to our favorite presentation of “the gospel”, our learned words of religion, our irrelevance to actual life? do we contain too much of our own opinions and conviction and too little of Jesus Christ? He offers the invitation to a light burden to those who labor with heavy ones. this sounded absurd to me until i realized that the heavy burden is the result of resisting the call of Jesus. and understanding what a light burden feels like in actuality can only take place after obedience to follow. He asks nothing of us without giving us the strength to perform yet we refuse to allow His strength to prevail as we lift the earthly weight of doing it on our own to feel strong and in control.
an innumerable struggle of equal importance has been my quest to understand grace more fully the way Jesus lived it out. i am slowly moving away from equating grace’s infinite cost with infinite usage. away from grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system. away from grace as justification of sin without justification of the sinner. away from following the consolation of grace rather than follow Christ. away from the secularization of christianity through what dietrich bonhoeffer would call “cheap grace”. and finding refuge in a grace that is continually sought after. continually asked for. i am continually knocking on the door of grace.
perpetual student with innumerable struggles and a light burden.

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