Scandalous grace

Over the Christmas holidays, I found myself taking some time to reflect on grace and how much Gods grace actually pursues us when we least deserve it when we mess up or fail to maintain the right way. There are so many examples throughout the bible of men and women whom you would never expect to be chosen by God because of their flawed character or who failed in different ways – yet these men and women did some truly remarkable things for God. The Old Testament is full of examples where Gods scandalous grace can be seen at work. Once again as I reflect on the journey of my own life I find myself being undone all over again. Just when you think you know grace there is always something more to learn and discover. Could it be that the only way we really get to know grace is through a lifetime of actually experiencing grace?

So what is this grace?

Love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return? Or is it love coming to you that has nothing to do with you?

Being loved when you are unlovable – this unconditional love -covers over a multitude – keeps no record of wrong…..

Love that has nothing to do with you – the beloved – but has everything and only to do with the lover.

It has nothing to do with height or weights and measures, or my intrinsic qualities or gifts

It reflects a decision on the part of the giver, the one who loves, in relation to the receiver, the one who is loved, that negates any qualifications the receiver may personally hold…..

So what is this grace?

Is it one-way love?

It doesn’t make demands – it simply gives and from our perspective it always seems to give to the wrong person – the most extravagant sinners – receive the most compassionate welcome.

Yet grace refuses to play it safe, its recklessly generous and uncomfortable.

It doesn’t keep a score – it works without requiring anything on our part – it’s not expensive nor even cheap – its free!

It defies all of our logic – not earned by merit or deservedness – opposed to what is owed – never expecting anything in return.

A contradiction of my view and perspective –  between what we deserve and what we should get. Unconditional acceptance is given to an undeserving person by an unobligated giver.

So what is this grace?

Is it one-way love?

It lets you off the hook when you least expect it or deserve it -a friend who suspended judgement at a key moment in your life and showed you this kind of love at some point along the way.

It’s beautiful and life-saving – yet why do we resist it? Often suspicious of promises that seem too good to be true. Is there an alternative motive of the excessively generous?

Grace – is a gift – pure and simple!

It always offends our sense of justice – it doesn’t seem fair. It makes us feel uncomfortable because it turns it back to us – we should be relieved for we cannot control grace.

It forces us to rely on the goodness of another and maybe that is terrifying. So we domesticate this one-way love and cannot trust it or believe something so radically unbelievable.

It’s too good to be true! Yet the gospel of grace is true – it is dangerous and it will wreck your expectations.

Gods one-way love will never get old and will never outgrow.

Surely this is – scandalous grace!

It never runs out, it always keeps pursuing us.

Turning our expectations – upside down and inside out.