You ever been pushed to the edge or pushed over the edge? When people violate your boundaries, like in the 1940 German Blitzkrieg. Each person responds differently to these offenses, but in our sense of right and wrong, we almost always want the offending party to pay for their wrongs. How does the Holy One of the universe feel if that is how we feel?
He rules the world with truth and grace. There is a divine tension at play here. The tension of truth and grace. It is easy to understand truth and grace exclusively, but for them to live simultaneously in the same space means we must adopt God’s view on the subject.
God rules in a state of perpetual and perfect truth. Jesus declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Truth is also associated with laws that are to be followed and enforced. The ten commandments give us a set of truths to follow, and Jesus establishes the law of “Love God and love other people.”
Religious leaders in Jesus’ time (and even today) felt the response to the law should be condemnation and judgment. On the other hand, Jesus does not condemn the sinner but offers grace when the law is broken. He holds to the truth and acknowledges when laws have been broken, but instead of condemning offers an opportunity for redemption. He offers grace.
Grace is unmerited forgiveness. We have done nothing to earn grace, and the only part we play is receiving the gift that is offered through the sacrifice of Jesus. I heard author and pastor Andy Stanley declare that Jesus is “All grace and all truth, all the time.”
Truth creates the boundaries which give us life, and grace restores us to those life-giving boundaries when we have strayed from them. This beautiful principal proclaims “the glories of his righteousness and wonders of his love.” And even more powerfully, Christmas declares the advent of this kingdom and invites us to participate in its life-giving truths.
What grace have you received from God? What grace do you need to extend to someone else today?
All hymns referenced throughout the series found in one spot. Some versions are traditional. Others…not so much. Enjoy!