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8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Saturday, October 30, 2010

REFORMATION 2010

Joihn 8: A Meditation on Grace

We love grace (and we should)
Pouring down upon us like rain.
Soaking us. Drenching us.
Rolling down our cheeks, covering our eyes, filling our mouth
with refreshment.
We children open wide and let the droplets of grace play upon our tongue.
It falls, cascading,
washing us clean, renewing us.
So much it pours, puddling at our feet.
We jump. We splash. We play.
It covers us and we rejoice in the soaking.
We love the way that grace falls upon us like rain!

Jesus says, “you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”

Consider: The grace that sets us free.
The gift. God’s gift.
You and I, never good enough to be so deserving,
it comes to us anyway.
We don't have to reach for it.
We can't.
Can't say words to invoke it or conjure it.
Complete a checklist - jump through hoops - finish the book - take a test. Earn it as a grade or extra credit.
No.

Never good enough for God’s grace, you and I.
Yet, with eyes to see - there it is in our very hands!
Placed there by God in and through Christ Jesus.
As pure gift.
The grace of God.
There it is for us, in us, placed there by God’s action, God’s love, God’s desire.
We do nothing for this grace.
It is given to us -
Not because we've been extra-special good.
Or darn it, God owes us.
Or we think we have been good enough, better than most,
Better than many anyway, some, a few,
and that should count for something
to God, shouldn't it? Shouldn’t it?
Shouldn’t what we do, have done, all of those good works count for our standing before God,
our merit for this grace?
Count more than those others who do far less, love far less, commit evil upon evil? Or at least less good than us?
Shouldn’t it?
But it doesn't.
Hear that?
It doesn’t.
Not where grace is concerned.
God’s pure gift.

Paul teaches, declares, reminds:
“For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
We fall short!
Who would have thought!
You and I falling short.

Oh, God may smile
Rejoice at our humility of action
How we see Christ in the most unlikely people,
right?
The ones who can't help us back,
who may not be grateful,
who may not be cute or pretty or handsome.
Oh, God may smile,
as we peel away the hours like dollar bills
listening, patiently
holding hands, patting shoulders, eye’s warm and welcoming,
listening,
listening and not advising, not judging, not solving,
just being, patiently being.
God may smile at our Christ-likeness and humble servant hood, but loves us none the more for it.
(Nor none the less, of course.)

God in Christ Jesus has shown the depth of love that God bears for the likes of you and me.
What more love can there be than Christ, sent and given, betrayed and broken, dead and buried and risen and exalted and reigning forever and ever and ever.
For you and me
For the world.
For those we love and fail to love.
For those we love and cannot imagine loving, Ever imagine.
There is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, says Paul.

We love grace (and we should)
that falls like rain, like the gift of a sudden shower
in a parched and thirsty land.
The grace that brings life, brings freedom
like plants flowering bursting forth in celebration
rains gifting new life.
But sin comes like a withering heat
Dry, desiccating, mummifying.
All around us, in us and through us.
We are free, we croak,
but the sin/heat chokes. We choose to save ourselves
perhaps scrambling, racing blindly
leaving others in our own choking dust
Seeing the water, just ahead, the mirage of salvation.
We run farther, faster, looking back to keep ahead so that others do not beat us there,
find the waters, drink their fill and leave us nothing.
There it is!
Bit the mirage of grace, it's all mud. It sucks at our feet
making us prisoners.

We are free we declare, but we are not.
More stuck than before.
Stuck in the mud we tripped into the unseen
up to our waists, our elbows, our mouth.
We were mistaken,
seeing only the mirage of our own desire.
Praying others stop for us out of mercy,
pity, forgiveness, kindness, out of grace,
the gift that embraces poor wretches like you and me.
We pray for others to forgive us and pause in their own thirst,
pause awhile to tug and pull and help us along, help us to see what is real and what is not.
What is of God and what is not.

We love grace (and we should)
seeking the Word
that gives it its depth, its width, its breadth, its height,
its movement, its path, its journey, its home.
To set our own heart by its course
to fix our eyes on its fullness
to fill our spirit with its breath,
its fire, its kiss.

Hear the words of Jesus:
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples;
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We are free, free to love, to serve, to hope, to dance, to sing, to shout, to wonder, to celebrate, to pray,
to honor, to embrace the righteousness of being children of God.

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.
Amazing Grace, that gift of God, the one that sets me free,
Upon the cross in victory won, in pure humility.
Amen.

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