the watchword for this time: grace

We live in a tumultuous time when nearly everything seems in flux with radical change coming in epic proportions; in biblical language the heavens being shaken, the sun blotted out, the moon turned to blood, and the stars falling down from the sky.

And we live in a time when friends, family, and yes, even Christians disagree with each other on issues in a way at least in which there can be no compromise, set in our ways of thinking and understanding. However we might assess that, that’s not the point of this post. We must take care not to sin against the one reality which is given to us in Jesus.

What is needed today is grace in the distinctive way of Jesus, the grace we find through the gospel. So that even in our disagreements we in Jesus apply grace to each other, forgiving each other when we misspeak, and holding on to the one truth and reality that unites us: the good news in Jesus. We might define this grace as loving each other no matter what in and through the gospel, that we are family, bonded together in love in and through Jesus. Something we have, and need to grow in.

How that plays out is important. We can seek to persuade on what we must acknowledge are lesser things than the gospel, however important they well may be. Humility should help us, since we all know in part, and are to some extent part of the problem in one way or another, even if it’s in simply ignoring what might come to our attention that is unpleasant.

What we must hold on to for ourselves, for each other, and for our witness to the world is our essential unity in God through Christ by the Spirit. We are fully committed together to the good news of God in Jesus, meant to impact our lives in the hard places, and keep us unified in love, even when other issues would pull us apart and break the communion we have. We must show the world the better way.

What about when we think people, especially those in Christian leadership are off the mark? Are we praying for them? We can strongly, yet respectfully disagree with them. Grace ironically dictates there, and dictates nothing less than that.

And the grace which pours out of the gospel in Jesus, a love no matter what, which holds each other up in encouragement as well as accountability to the gospel because we care, that is the watchword we need to hold on to. For ourselves, for each other, and for our witness to the world in and through Jesus.

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