Embodied Grace

LentThe Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God,

Slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,

Maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Grace and compassion… these words long spoken reverberate around our faith.  But who expected them to become embodied like this, literal and real.  All imagining left behind, these words grew feet that moved and a mouth that taught.  A most fiery passion imparted desire and earthy actions stood behind every thought. The Word in the beginning became flesh and dwelt among us.

Grace became more than a doctrine as it embraced those abandoned.  Cheating tax collectors and women from the wrong side of a holy line were brought into the sphere of the loved and appreciated.  Warm eyes flooded the cold and isolated souls of those who thought their life’s actions precluded the predicted grace.  The God who created also loved and loved indiscriminately.

Compassion became more than an idea sitting amidst real people who longed to belong.  Jesus walked on real soil and embraced those who did.  No ivory tower ensconced this teacher; his words were spoken on the ground floor for all to stumble over and appreciate. To men in darkness had come a great light and they sat by it warming themselves and enjoying the presence of God Himself in their midst.

Jesus’ arrival took so many words, spoken by prophets and sages past, and put them in real-time context, added flesh and blood. God himself had come and nothing would remain as it had been.  The ultimate in authenticity, God had taken his long-standing teachings and had become them personally.

In Lent, we observe the sacrifice looking for days upon his actions.  Words are good and have often been spoken.  But in Jesus we observe a real life walking the words out.  Lent is our response, our quiet recognition of the greatest of dramas. God turned his own words into action, standing behind every ancient thought with his own life and eventually his death.

Are we prepared for a God this honest and real? Grace and compassion move from belief to being as God inhabits the lives of his people.  Are we prepared to be a part of that authenticity living the life of Christ?  We move, as Jesus once showed us, from believers in a teaching to inhabitors of the truth. All our observings end with us becoming the observed.  Our worshipful watching, turns slowly into us becoming what we watch.  We become players in the drama, small and uncertain at first but ever growing in our confidence, as his life becomes ours. In Lent the Word becomes flesh and dwells in us.

Grace and compassion… these words long spoken reverberate around our faith.  But who expected them to become embodied like this, literal and real.  All imagining left behind, these words grew feet that moved and a mouth that taught.  A most fiery passion imparted desire and earthy actions stood behind every thought. The Word in the beginning became flesh and dwelt among us.

Grace became more than a doctrine as it embraced those abandoned.  Cheating tax collectors and women from the wrong side of a holy line were brought into the sphere of the loved and appreciated.  Warm eyes flooded the cold and isolated souls of those who thought their life’s actions precluded the predicted grace.  The God who created also loved and loved indiscriminately.

Compassion became more than an idea sitting amidst real people who longed to belong.  Jesus walked on real soil and embraced those who did.  No ivory tower ensconced this teacher; his words were spoken on the ground floor for all to stumble over and appreciate. To men in darkness had come a great light and they sat by it warming themselves and enjoying the presence of God Himself in their midst.

Jesus’ arrival took so many words, spoken by prophets and sages past, and put them in real-time context, added flesh and blood. God himself had come and nothing would remain as it had been.  The ultimate in authenticity, God had taken his long-standing teachings and had become them personally.

In Lent, we observe the sacrifice looking for days upon his actions.  Words are good and have often been spoken.  But in Jesus we observe a real life walking the words out.  Lent is our response, our quiet recognition of the greatest of dramas. God turned his own words into action, standing behind every ancient thought with his own life and eventually with his death.

Are we prepared for a God this honest and real? Grace and compassion move from belief to being as God inhabits the lives of his people.  Are we prepared to be a part of that authenticity living the life of Christ?  We move, as Jesus once showed us, from believers in a teaching to inhabitors of the truth. All our observings end with us becoming the observed.  Our worshipful watching, turns slowly into us becoming what we watch.  We become players in the drama, small and uncertain at first but ever growing in our confidence, as his life becomes ours. In Lent the Word becomes flesh and dwells in us.

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