Full of grace and truth.

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Part of the Christmas story is Jesus embodiment of God and the Apostle Paul said in Jesus we beheld God’s glory, “full of grace and truth.”

This mix is apparent in the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8). Jesus challenged the Pharisees to show grace, asking which of them was without sin and therefore qualified to cast the first stone. He then turned to the woman and challenged her to be transformed,” go and sin no more.” Grace and truth all in one encounter.

We are called to be like Jesus, to be filled with grace and truth, and based on my experience and letters I receive it is tough to fulfill. Today I am posting a letter I received today from one of your fellow Staublog readers whose fresh thoughts on the subject give us a chance to reflect on this challenge. He titled his letter, “Too Christian, Too Bored,” a take-off on my book title, “Too Christian, Too Pagan.”

Please take a minute and see what comments and advice you would give him and I’ll pass them on!

[Dick, I’ve been a Christian since I was 15 and am just about to hit 40 but I’m still trying to make sense of it all. I do like your line about most people want a book that starts off with “it’s not about you” but winds being all about you. That may be so for a lot of people but I’m convinced there are a lot of people – Christian folks – that don’t necessarily want it to be all about them but are finding it quite difficult to be motivated to live for Christ and furthermore are confused about what that means precisely. The motivation I think is lacking because we have grown up in a Christian culture that has promised us “blessings” if we only obey and when we have chronic marriage problems, financial hardships and health problems we continue to wonder what happened to that youthful optimism about following Christ.

I had lunch with a friend and coworker yesterday and we talked about things in our life. He lead a life as a teenager where he would attend Young Life and then go party with his friends and he said the party group was where there were no rules and anybody could find a place to fit. You could be as conservative as you wanted or as wild and you would still fit. On the other side – the Christian side – there were rules and you had a harder time fitting in and furthermore you couldn’t be yourself (i.e. wearing no mask). And he said that today as a deacon he’s finding himself being more and more crushed by the expectations of the church to live a certain way and not screw up and of course tithe 10% of his gross pay.

I guess the point is that in church it’s nearly impossible to be yourself without a mask of any kind no matter how much the church tells us we should not wear them. All of us who’ve removed the mask to reveal that we still struggle with all this Christian stuff or that we actually still sin have been burned by those Pharisees who call themselves our friends. I believe there needs to be more of an earnest call by the church to be accepting to all of us who are struggling in life while affirming truth in doctrine in the pulpit.

I think for me what’s hardest is that I used to be that Pharisee while all the time being uneasy with who I really was on the inside in having an constant ongoing war with the flesh. I wonder if everybody feels this way?]

Has this reader triggered something in you? Feel free to respond!

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in December 17, 2004 by | No Comments »

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