Grace @ its Loveliest

August 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

Grace & WeedsAnd whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him. 1 Samuel 16:23

It is helpful to offer some context to this verse. David, a shepherd boy who would one day be king, is a young man, possibly a teenager when this event is recorded. At the time, Saul is the king of Israel. He was the nation’s first king. But he is evil. He lived in constant willful disobedience to God, and therefore poorly led God’s people.

David had just been anointed as Saul’s successor when this occurred, which meant that Saul’s son, and David’s best friend, Jonathan would not be the next king. God was not only removing Saul from office, but his family line as well. Saul had been disgraced.

But here David is, soothing Saul as evil torments this soon-to-be deposed king. What makes this even more extraordinary is that whenever evil overtook Saul, his instinct was not self-destruction, but to pursue David with the aim of taking his life. Saul would become so enraged with anger and jealousy that his only passion was to kill David. Yet here is David, playing his harp, caring for the very man who would soon want him erased from the face of the earth!

Friends, I know that it is sometimes difficult to be Christ-followers in a broken, and sometimes hostile world – but this is who we are! And our calling isn’t to expose it, curse it, damn it, avoid it, or weave it into our political leanings.

It is to serve it.

The other day Katherine and I walked through our still-developing neighborhood and saw the sight pictured above. Apparently there is a building-materials corporation that goes by the name of Grace – I posted a blog after seeing a truck that bore that name last year – .

Immediately it resonated that this is the true work and influence of God’s grace. It finds its only use and truest expression in the presence of incompletion and ugliness. It is most beautiful among the ruins, and is at its loveliest before the construction is complete. It is only necessary when life is broken.

Coming SoonHere is the thing: Life, and life in this world, even the world itself, will always be broken until Jesus returns.

But God has ordained that somewhere, deep within and among the ruins of our daily struggle with existence and faith and fall and sin and regret and sadness, and all the other dimensions of living in a world that long ago broke communion with the Father – there is Grace.

And for those unfinished ones who have tasted the Father’s mercy and peace, in this equally unfinished and sometimes horrifying world, we have been given the music of redemption – a song to play that penetrates the ugliness and hopelessness of evil, and offers a calming hope of the possibility that Jesus, the good King, is making everything new.

What could be better news?

grace & peace.

PS Enjoy this exchange over grace from an old Seinfeld episode.

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