Oozing Grace and other Heretical Hazards

15years
BY: Jana Greene
Jesus sitting on a rock, looking wistfully into the atmosphere. Sandal-ed feet and in robe and sash. You remember him, right?
His portraits hung in your Sunday School and Vacation Bible School rooms. Dirty blonde hair, blue eyes. Perfectly serene expression.
I remember him, too. He is lovely and pure and holy, but He doesn’t appear to be radical, and I’m pretty sure Jesus was a radical guy.

Two weeks immersed in classes, and am experiencing all of those terms that I make fun of hipsters for using:

Wrecked.
De-fragmented
Disenfranchised from church as we largely know it.
This message of a grace-based gospel is ANYTHING but boring or staid.
What if the Love of God was bigger than the sins of the world?
It is scandalous in its oozing of mercy, positively radical in it’s inclusion.Where has this message of the Good News BEEN all my life!? Studying the Old and New Covenants, so much comes into focus. So many questions answered.

I find myself undone.

Because if what I’m learning is true, it turns everything upside down.

Sin gets so much airtime. But here’s the rub: Sin is not the MAIN THING.It shouldn’t take center stage?

What if Love took center stage, as Jesus intended?

If it’s true – this grace-based Gospel – then we can do nothing to mitigate the furious love of our father.

If it’s true that the Kingdom of God is within us, we need to stop looking for him elsewhere.

If it’s true, we need to stop trying to invoke the presence of Holy Spirit in our worship. He is already here.

If it’s true (and my Spirit tells me it IS, it’s gloriously, wonderfully, life-givingly TRUE!) then perhaps we should start spreading this amazing news. Gospel = GOOD NEWS.

I’ve been a Christian most of my life, and have never appreciated true Grace and the love of our Triune God.

Not the good news that comes with a disclaimer at the bottom for full legal disclosure. (Has anyone seen my can of “LAW BE GONE? I’m sure I left it right here next to my Self Condemnation Deflator….hmmmm.)

Not the news that Jesus loves you but you’d better get your act together before you try to follow him, or you’ll make us all look bad.

No.

The neat and tidy Jesus of Vacation Bible School is not gazing out into the atmosphere, but at YOU. Right now. He is looking upon you adoringly.

It is finished.

He is here. He is here in this messy, screwed-up, fallen, trainwreck of a planet  because he just cannot get close enough to YOU.

He walks among us, inhabits us, throws mercy on us, guides us, cradles us. LOVES US. People really need to hear this, ya’ll.

Yeah, I’m thinking Seminary is really going to mess with my head.

And I simply cannot wait to get to know my Papa better. I hope you don’t mind too terribly much if I blog about the experience here?

God bless us, every one.

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14 thoughts on “Oozing Grace and other Heretical Hazards

  1. Best simplified explanation I have heard in a long time… Intend on sharing it! You articulate my heart exactly! Favor favor favor on your ministry and on coming on board in seminary !!

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  2. Well, THANK YOU ever so much for such kind words, Jane! It was not the piece I set out to write this morning, but Holy Spirit had all other ideas 😉 God bless you and thank you again ❤

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  3. what if indeed. Keep reminding us that our God is greater than the sins of the world. And keep talking about the Seminary experience, we all need to encounter Jesus as he is and not as we have tamed him to be.

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  4. Indeed, he does have a way of changing the message when you think you know what should be said! I did jail ministry for four years and every time I was going over the mountain to visit my ladies, I had a message all “prepared”..and nine times out of 10 He would change it on the way over!! I have since learned, “open your mouth and I will fill it “LOL! So glad to see you so well received on the Facebook page! Coram Deo, Jane

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  5. I’ve always been interested in prison ministry. Kudos and blessings be upon you for ministering to those in incarceration. And thanks, too, for your readership ❤

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  6. My Dad was a rugrat (born in inner city Cincinnati, Ohio) who had to work at age 11 by hitchhiking to Kentucky (no child labor laws in KY). He had to get across the bridge from where he lived. He loved God and church, he talked as if God really were his Father. His own was in a mental ward of a Veteran’s Home. He thought it was important to talk to Him, to pray to Him and believe in all surrounding wonders, His gifts bestowed upon us. So glad he gave me the love and confidence to really “know” the Lord and His immeasurable gifts. I am happy to say he met a trucker who told him he needed to go to college and he did become a nuclear engineer for NASA. I am absolutely sure he is in Heaven rearranging the stars above.
    Miracles never cease. ❤

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