Tuesday, August 7, 2012

When the Church becomes a Mete Market

My wife was recently discussing a women's confernce she attended with a friend.  The conference's dominant theme was the finished work of Jesus and His righteousness being ours by faith.  It goes without saying that my wife was greatly encouraged.

However, she reported to me that before her post-conference glow had even begun to fade, one of her friends proclaimed that they were disappointed in the conference wishing it had contained more "meat."

I could not help but think, "I think she meant 'mete.'" 

Did I not mention that I am also very funny and very punny?  "Puns of fun" is what they call me.  And by "they" I mean "me."

But I digress.

We love the Law.  We adore it.  We cannot help ourselves.  We love to be told what to do.  We love having tasks meted out.  If you spend too long telling us what Jesus did we will get anxious and request a respite from grace as we shout, " Now please tell us what to do!!! Preach to us the Christian, not the Christ. How do I fit into all of this? What about me?"

Before tomorrow's sunrise has even crested our to-do lists are formed.  We have boxes to check and go to sleep already behind tomorrow's eight ball.  We love our to-do lists.  It tells us what to do.  It keeps us from forgetting important things we need to do, want to do, hope to do (will likely not get to do).

I suggest and implore you to set you to-do's aside every morning and for a moment rest in Jesus' ta-da.  Ta-da is the nail in the coffin of a completed act: the "It is finished!"  We look so longingly to what we need to tomorrow that we fail to rest in what was done for us yesterday (or yesteryear perhaps more accurately).  "Ta da" debatably has its roots in a German phrase meaning, "here it is."  All day long we try to get to the ta-da.  We long to take our bow and present a finished work.  But everyday we go to sleep knowing we did not do with excellence everything on our list and that we have failed miserably in other tasks on our list.  We have even failed to place some important things on our lists in the first place.  Our to-do's can never grant the rest that Christ's ta-da can produce.

When we react to the Gospel of grace by requesting more meat, we are in essence asking quite figuratively for more meting out of tasks, doling out responsibilities and to-do's.  We love to-do's.  We get bored quickly with ta-da's.

I love you.  Christ loves you.  Rest in Him.  The only performance that could ever be applauded before the Father is already in the books.  He did it!  He did it masterfully, sufficiently, completely, entirely, gracefully, and perfectly.  For an encore He rose from the grave and ascended to the right hand of His Father where He ever lives to intercede for those who in Him by faith find rest.

No magic. No show.  No curtain call.  No need to reproduce what has already been completed flawlessly.  He really did pay it all.  He really did win.  Can you do the difficult work of placing your faith in Him and this gift again today?  Can your to-do list contain but one reminder to repose in the ta-da of Jesus?

Faith is the hard work of trusting in Christ's hard work.

Do not so impatiently blitz through Romans chapters 1-11 to get to the "meat" of Romans chapters 12-16.  Romans 12-16 is amazing and I love it.  You will be told what to do only after you have understood what God in Christ has done.  May your appetite for Law be grounded in responsive Love informed by the Gospel.  Romans 12 is beautiful in fleshing this point out.  It instructs us how to more specifically live transformed lives in view of God's mercies. 

In view of God's mercies.

Please do not place God's mercies in your rearview.  You will lose sight of where you are going if you forget from where you were started.

Galatians 3:3

Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

1 comment:

  1. this is so good. I will be meditating on this on my trip.