Relational Grace

Presentfuture3a A couple of posts ago I began to journal some about the theme of grace in my life as a follower of Jesus. After listening to Reggie McNeal today, the topic of grace came up in regards to how we the church respond to the sins of the world. What if we the church actually responded to the sins of the world through the act of Grace. Grace as a relational act of God’s eternal love. McNeal challenged those present to consider what it would mean to love as God loved when it came to being a missional body, sent by God, into the world, in and midst the broken hearted within our own communities? It would mean that the church universal would have to rethink how it welcomes those who’ve become disappointed with the four walls of the church and who would rather practice their faith, their spiituality without the actual "institution?" It would mean meeting the people of God at their place of need without judgement, but with relational grace. I also heard him say something to the effect that 20th century "witnessing or evangelizing" has to be re-imagined when it comes to bringing grace to those looking for grace. Instead of offering four spiritual laws with a one way ticket to hell option if you don’t believe, what if we the church universal actually offered what the gospel is really about, "life abundantly?" If I think of all of the people in my life who gave me Jesus, it was in the form of a relational type of grace. It was the kind of grace that allowed for me to move and be just as God made me. Was it introduced to me perfectly by these mentors, friends, and pastors? No, but it allowed me to also give grace back to those who tried to live their lives before me as followers of Jesus and who tried to give me grace. It allowed for me to recognize the truth of the gospel and to respond to Christs redemptive grace. As for Reggie, I bought his Present-Future book with hopes of reading it on some study leave coming up. His seminar actually is his book almost word for word. Good stuff to ponder when it comes to relational grace. When I actually translate the chicken scratch for notes I took I will play with this topic of grace some more later on in future posts I pray.

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