Thursday, January 18, 2007

Musings – When the Trite Becomes Profound … Again

Acronyms are great mnemonic devices. I can think of a number of them, and sometimes I can recall the list they were designed to help me remember. There’s one for the colors in the visual spectrum, another for the 9 planets in order (and I wonder how that has changed now that Pluto has been demoted), another for the 12 cranial nerves in order, another for the phases of cellular division, the list goes on and on.

One that I came to appreciate as a young teenager is “GRACE = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” As a young believer, I connected with it; but, as I grew in my faith, I began to regard it much in the way that a young teen may think about the TV shows he enjoyed as a 5-year-old. Until just a few days ago, I thought that it was a trite oversimplification of a deep and profound truth. It was fine for new Christians, but it didn’t go deep enough for more mature believers … or so I thought.

With that narrow perspective, I almost missed a useful song for our 8:30 service. It’s on a CD I’ve had for over a year. It was co-written by Stuart Townend (one of my favorite writers of new hymns for the 21st century church) but I disregarded it when I first heard it because it uses that phrase … one that I thought I had outgrown … in the first few seconds of the song.

Has God ever taught you something new out of something you thought you knew well? That’s what has happened with that phrase in my heart. As a young believer I was focusing on two things: Christ’s expense, and riches. I was focusing on the “Jesus Paid It All” part of the equation … and waiting for the riches that I thought should come. We need to outgrow that interpretation and realize that because they are God’s riches, they will probably look different from our immature expectations.

I think many of us spend an awful spiritual energy just looking for riches any kind, rather than opening our hearts to experience the riches God wants to give us. God’s riches are the only ones worth Christ’s expense. The song is “Grace”, and here’s the truth:
[be]cause it’s grace; there’s nothing I can do to make You love me more, to make You love me less than You do. And by faith I’m standing on this stone of Christ, and Christ alone, Your righteousness is all that I need; [be]cause it’s grace.
It strikes me as odd that God takes us back to the simple stuff to help us grow. That’s enough to think about for now.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home