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The Grace of God

I don’t claim to be an expert on all of the mysteries of faith; I’m just a sincere and devout seeker who does his best to listen to wisdom as God reveals it to me. I will try to share some of the insights which have come to me in hopes that I’m on the right track and they’re useful to somebody else.

Grace is truly a mystery. In the face of an unfathomably vast universe and an infinitely powerful God, it seems foolish that God should care about us collectively, let alone individually. As Brennan Manning pointed out in The Ragamuffin Gospel (2005, Multnomah Books), God’s love for me, you, and everybody else is very foolish. It makes no sense at all from a rational point of view, and were we to witness one of our friends behaving with us s much amorous fervour we would in all likelihood confront them about it and tell them that they were headed over the edge of a cliff. And yet, God continues to pursue us to the ends of the Earth.

Did Christ’s death on the cross really somehow pay for our sins? I have no idea. I can’t comprehend how that would even work, but the drama of the story, even if merely allegory, is striking. It horrifies many, and scares the living hell out of any Christian reflective enough to contemplate it. So what’s the draw? Why have so many people through history been moved by the Passion? Once again, this is a mystery, a spiritual reality beyond analysis, beyond intellect, only valid within the realm of direct personal experience.

The greatest importance of the Passion, though, is the resurrection. I will not argue over how literally we are to take this particular event, but I will say that it has become of the utmost importance within my own spiritual life. The risen Christ signifies the very fact of grace, ever-present. The Greek word used in the New Testament for Christ’s “second coming” is “parousia”, which translates not as “coming” but more accurately as “presence,” identical in sense to the Hebrew “shekinah”.

Thus, God in Christ, that is Love, is ever-present and abiding. We can access it at any time just by accepting it as true.

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