March 10, 2022

GOOD AND GRACIOUS (March 11, 2022)

We call a cottage “gracious” if it boasts verandahs, sweeping lawns, and well-trimmed shrubbery. And what we mean is “easy on the eyes.”
 
We call a hostess “gracious” if her dinner party brims with well-dressed, laughing guests—if music is well-chosen; hors d'oeuvres are tasty, and waitstaff all attentive. And what we mean is “effortlessly elegant.”
 
But what when “gracious” equals “hard,” or “agonizing,”—even “deadly”? The Lord who lived His graciousness suffered pain and mocking, nails and death—to win for us a freedom neither elegant nor easy. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). Jesus drank the bitter cup till it was dry; endured the shame, the thirst, the cross; and earned the right to thus define what humans mean by “grace.”
 
Grace isn’t easy. It’s embracing. Accept the grip of hard-won grace. And stay in it. -Bill Knott

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