...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Nullifying God's Grace

Week of 12/27/09 watchword:

Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. Psalm 148:13

The New Testament for 12/28/09:

I do not nullify the grace of God. Galatians 2:21

Part of the doctrinal heritage of the Reformation is "irresistible grace." Who are we, it goes, to resist God's sovereign will, to block the movement of God's grace? It's about God getting God's way; not our will be done, but God's.

When Paul speaks of "nullifying" God's grace, could he be suggesting that we create ways to void God's offer of love and grace? We do so by not believing the best about God and ourselves, that we are made in God's image and created in love. We choose to use our precious time in a way that does not lead to life. We do it as a species, to each other- and to earth, our home.

So Paul's personal statement about not nullifying the grace of God is not about God's grace, but rather our pugnacious spirit of denying, resisting, rejecting the movement of God's grace in and beyond us. If you want a community based on merit, then join the Boy Scouts or Rotary. Or the Optimists (my favorite civic club). Many churches, in their own way, resist the movement of God's grace in their shared life. Many clergy too.

In this last week of 2009, the confession proves helpful:

God, your life is within us, but our selfishness has hindered you. We have not lived by faith. We have resisted your Spirit. We have neglected your inspirations. Deliver us, loving God, from nullifying your grace this day, this moment. Amen.

Christ's peace to you and yours!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Follow by Email

Why Clergyspirit?

My photo
Houston, Texas, United States
Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

Try Gratitude

If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

Making Good Decisions