I'm back into the swing of things at church this week. There is an abundance of 'tasks' to accomplish over the next few weeks, but there's no sense stressing out right?
Been thinking a lot on GRACE over the last few weeks. Heard an interesting concept in seminary that has resurfaced in my thinking. In Greek mythology, there were three beings known as the Three Graces. They are always portrayed artistically as three women who continually have hands joined. The concept is actually pretty helpful in understanding what the New Testament might mean when it uses the word grace.
The first of the three graces is the gift from the benefactor to the recipient. It is unmerited and undeserved. The second grace is the recipient's reception of that grace. (You can lavish grace on someone all day, but if they don't receive it, it's moot.) Third, the recipient then lives in honor with, to and for the benefactor. It is not enough to simply take the gift and run. Instead, gratitude and honor are to be conveyed back to the benefactor both in the benefactor's presence and when the benefactor is not around.
Pretty powerful concept. I think if we get any of these three graces wrong in the Christian faith, it short circuits the abundant life that God wants us to live in.
If you don't believe that the Great Benefactor bestows grace into your life in abundant fashion, you will either live in guilt or continually try to work and earn your way into God's favor.
If you don't receive God's grace, you stand condemned, self-righteous, and all in all, in trouble.
If you don't respond to God's grace by Honoring his name, both in prayer/worship and in your day to day life with others, you may well think that you are more than you really are. Narcissism is Idolatry of the worst kind.
So, where are you short circuiting grace in your life?