Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Funeral Service of Grace

Unity is a Christian principle that's very rarely practiced. After all, it is easier to identify that which divides us than that which unites. Denominations are formed on the basis of these divisions and Christians often identify others of different belief systems based on how their belief system contradicts their own.

If this is true in the Church, its even truer outside of it. This, after all is somewhat Biblical, as Scripture teaches us that unbelievers will recognize those that follow Christ because they are different. What's easy to forget is that the defining difference is supposed to be the love we have for one another. Too often Christians are recognized for their views on morality and or doctrinal issues and not because of the fact that they are dispensers of God's grace.

In his book, Whats So Amazing About Grace, Philip Yancey writes. "Grace dies when it becomes us versus them" (172). What the author is teaching is that when we concentrate on that which divides us, its very hard to recognize that which we share - the fact that we are all sinners saved by grace. Instead we think of the other - the one who disagrees with our view on a certain matter. And its very hard to love "the other." Its much easier to love those that we think are like us - those that we consider a friend.

If grace were to die, I think its eulogy would be "When I came, they didn't recognize me. And those that should have known me the most often refused to share me with others. If they had, my death would not have occurred." Its epithet would read "We're all oddballs, but God loves us anyway"(Yancey). After all, thats what grace is.



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The Funeral Service of Grace