Time to refill the GRACE tank.
It struck like a thunderbolt, and I was left dumbfounded, literally speechless. Did I hear it correctly? Did someone say that another someone of a different political persuasion “deserves a bullet in the head?” Thank God this person is not from the congregation I serve! I hope and pray this was hyperbole.
What does that say about the state of our culture? What does that say about the heart and mind of the pontificator? Are politics and culture so important to them that they would even think to use such a phrase to speak about another human being? Maybe it speaks to the idols they worship as their political views have become their religion. The tragedy and the irony is that this person professes to be Christian, belonging to a tradition that values the sanctity of life. Where’s the GRACE?
In the mid-2nd century, Justyn Martyr wrote that when Christians meet to worship God, they read and expound upon the “memoirs of the apostles” so they can strive to apply these examples to their lives. (Apologies by Justyn Martyr). So let us turn to the “Memoirs” to see if we can find an example. In one of the most enigmatic statements found in the Gospels, Jesus tells the disciples that two swords are enough to take to the Garden of Gethsemane. You don’t understand this response from our Lord until you move a few verses away where the disciples ask if they should use the swords now and then strike the High Priest’s servant in the head, taking off his ear before they get the answer. Jesus answers, “No more of this!” and heals the servant’s ear. (Luke 22:47-51) At this moment, Jesus provides us with a powerful example of grace under fire. He is about to be betrayed by Judas, brought before a “Kangaroo Court,” stand before Pilate, flogged, humiliated, and nailed to a cross. Yet he tells the disciples after the violent moment, “No more of this!”
My friends, we are in grueling and challenging times. The political divisions, social unrest, and never-ending pandemic information, misinformation, misinformation about misinformation, etc., have been depleting our grace reserves; our tanks are emptying. We are not thinking, speaking, or acting as if we have received GRACE upon GRACE. So let Jesus interrupt us:
No more of this!
Stop and take a look at your dashboard. You may find that YOUR WARNING LIGHT ON! Your tank might be empty, and you are running on fumes. My friends, it is time to refill the GRACE Tanks. Otherwise, we find may ourselves running out and stranded on the side of the road of life.
The Great Spirit is telling you to find the next filling station. There is an Attendant there ready to welcome you and fill your GRACE Tank if you are willing to pull into the station. The best part is that his full service is free; all this was paid in full from on his charge card of GRACE. And who knows; He may even clean your windshield so you can see the damage you have done and the road going forward.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace… grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16, 17)