Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Hush of Grace

For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT)
What a dense teaching here presented by St. Paul, there are so many moving parts to this text.

WE could say that GOD's grace has been revealed in the Christ, who instructs us by his words and works to turn from the self-life and to turn toward GOD in
 devotion, and to turn toward ourselves in circumspection (to be mindful of the consequences).

WE could say that the life we now live in the flesh we are to live with one eye poised upon Jesus of Nazareth and the other poised upon the living, risen Christ.

Or, we could say that what the Christ began when his grace appeared -- the bringing of salvation to all people, he will complete when he is re-revealed at the end, when all things will be settled and the creation renewed in the image of GOD.

The idea that GOD has not washed his hands of this planet still seems shocking to me. So dastardly are we -- so diabolical in our willingness to destroy the planet and in our unusual ability to allow fellow human beings to suffer and die (often at our own hands) -- it causes me to wonder why he hasn't tossed us out with the rubbish and moved on to a more profitable project.

The only answer seems to be grace. GOD's grace seems to be what ties him to us, what holds his heart and affectionate actions toward us.

Grace revealed in the appearing of the Son displays the power of the incarnational love of GOD. Grace revealed in the face of Golgotha's violence displays the power of his redemptive love. But, the promise of his future revealing, this is a grace that endures our hate and brutality age upon age, this is the power of long-suffering love.

There is a hush here; I am silenced before this grace. 

"Even so, come LORD Jesus."