Sunday, February 17, 2008

Free At Last, Part Deaux

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” - Anne Lamott

Stoke's presentation at Community Presbyterian Church's 10:45 worship hour this morning of Derek Webb's, "I want a New Law", led me to reflect even further on the grace that we share in Christ, and more firmly resolve to proclaim the freedom and grace we truly have in Christ.

It is always reassuring to know there are others whose walk is similar to mine, but who are more eloquent at expressing it. I can't say it better, so here it is:

I Want a New Law
Words and music by Derek Webb

Don't teach me about politics and government
Just tell me who to vote for
Don't teach me about truth and beauty
Just label my music
Don't teach me how to live like a free man
Just give me a new law

I don't wanna know
If the answers aren't easy
So just bring it down from the mountain to me
I want a new law
I want a new law
Gimme that new law

Don't teach me about moderation and liberty
I prefer a shot of grape juice
Don't teach me about loving my enemies
Don't teach me how to listen to the Spirit
Just give me a new law

What's the use in trading a law you can never keep
For one you can
That cannot get you anything?

do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid

How easy it is for us, for me even, to want a list of things "to do" to prove my worth to God and his kingdom. To be told what to do, where to go, how to stand and what to say such that I will become pleasing to God. To be told, "if you do these things, you will look like Christ." But that is not the Gospel of the New Testament (or the Old). The Gospel is a change that comes from God, through Christ, by His Holy Spirit in us. Living by grace, in freedom, is so much harder and demands so much more from me.

For he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Eph. 2:14-18).

The song was a powerful ending to Burt's powerful sermon on our call as missionaries. Our worth is found in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8). Thank you, Derek Webb for reminding me once again. Thank you Stokes. More importantly, thank you Jesus. May I never again seek the easy things, the laws, the rules, the words, but instead, seek the things of Christ.

I had numerous observations during our morning worship service, some of which I will share later. But this focus on grace was indeed powerful for me, and one of the observations I could not keep quiet.


1 comment:

Scott H said...

Unfortunately, I was on "duty" and was not able to hear much of the sermon, but did hear Stoke's special music. Derrick Webb has no problem smacking ya' right between the eyes!