Sunday, June 12, 2011

Living in the tension

     For the past couple of weeks I have been sharing with my friends at The Harbor Community Church that following Christ is like living between the tension, on one hand, of God's Truth and Justice, and on the other hand, his Grace and Mercy.

     When I was a kid I used to love to play on the train tracks near our church (I really hope my mother doesn't see this post!).  I learned that if you squat down between the tracks and look as far towards the horizon as you could, those two parallel tracks seemed to meet on the horizon.  OK! I know that two parallel train tracks will never meet, even at the horizon. And I know that there really is no such thing as a point on the horizon.  However, the idea still makes sense when you focus on the big picture - there are some things about God that seem to be running side by side but will never seem to come together.

      God's justice and his mercy seem to be aspects of his character that never come together. Yet, Christ said of himself, "When you've seen me, you've seen the Father", and it was said of Jesus that he was full of "grace and truth". So is it possible that the justice and truth of God do actually meet and intersect with his mercy and grace - YES.  They meet in the person and work of Christ who came to show us the Father.  Whenever I struggle with the Truth of God as it confronts some screwy aspect of my flawed character I am thankful for the Grace and Mercy of God that holds me to him at the same time.

     It is the living in the tension between that gives life reality.  Following Jesus is never simple, and it is far more than just about getting my fanny into heaven rather than hell.  It is all about the tension. The tension of the now and the not yet, the come as you are, and the don't stay that way. The tension of knowing Christ intimately and then realizing you really know so very little - all at the same time.

     I love my family at THCC! I love them for their honesty. I love them for their desire to know God and make him known. I love them for desiring to meet people where they are and lovingly, humbly, by God's grace. helping them not stay that way. May God increase your tribe.