Sunday, May 21, 2006

Grace, Generosity, and Fellowship - reflections from the Spiritual Formation Forum


The other side of brokenness and pain is Grace. The night always turns to morning. The darkness is never permanent, the light shines through. The crucifixion precedes the resurrection, and the message of Christ, is "arise".

My entries have been of a somber note from the weekend, but know that the brokenness and the pain is not all there is. However, it is only in the darkness of our soul that we can understand and know grace. To not enter the darkness is to cheapen grace and the work of the cross.

But grace oh sweet grace. To know that after we have embraced our sinfulness, we can hear the words “you’re forgiven.” To hear from the eternal father, “I love you”, to hear from the creator of our souls, “you are my child, arise and be alive, go and sin no longer.” This is not only a command to not sin, but to know that we are no longer regarded as sinners. We are to embrace this new standing of God, and live without sin. If we do not mourn our sin, we will never turn from it. Hence we cheapen grace. And why cheapen something so beautiful and so powerful.

The message of grace is not only, be saved from the pits of hell, but the message of life. We settle for so little, we reduce our faith to propositional statements and warm fuzzies, when what God is offering the world in the cross and the resurrection is life, and life to the fullest. This is not a fullness of health and wealth, of self-fulfillment, but the fullness of peace in our souls, in our world, and mostly peace with God.

Life is only found in God. Can you imagine what it is like to have faith in God so that we are free from our insecurities, from our pettiness, even from our sins? This is what we are offered. If we are willing to let go of holding onto ourselves, then we can embrace God, then Jesus becomes our life, and that is life to the fullest.

So, let me ask. Why are you running? Why are you clinging to your life? He offers us so much, and we settle for so little. Grace tells us that is will be ok. Grace gives meaning to our existence, to our joys, and even to our suffering. Pain is redemptive with grace.

Why are you running? Stop holding on, stop clinging, and surrender to God. Acknowledge your brokenness, and embrace the grace. Acknowledge the darkness, and trust that the light is coming.


I have never experience so much generosity in my life. My friends provided a hotel room for me. My father provided a flight. The only time I paid for a meal this past week was when I was by myself (which was rare). I cannot believe all of your generosity and your kindness to me. Thank you for showing me the love of God.


Every group I spoke with this week opened there arms wide to me. This includes my peeps from Milwaukee, people from Trinity, and my new friends from Indiana. Thank you for your genuine concern for my well-being. Thank you for showing me love and grace. Thank you for your on-going prayers. The best part of these conferences tend to be the conversations you have in free time. Once I again I have found this to be true. Thank you to all for embracing me as a brother in the family of God.

No comments: