Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One thing about James and John in their unvarnished request for the top spots in the kingdom: at least they were honest. Today, we're much more subtle about expressing our ambition. Trouble is, for the Sons of Thunder and for us, our anxiety to reach for what we want can make us skip over the really important stuff--make us look for shortcuts that promise the gain without any pain.
But then is the acquisition any benefit? Bonhoeffer remarked that it's a small wonder if the Gospel does not find a hearing under circumstances like that: "All our easy trafficking with the word of cheap grace simply bores the world to disgust, so that in the end it turns against those who try to force on it what it does not want." That expression goes pretty far in explaining the mess we're in today.
Jesus invited James and John, not to leapfrog to the throne, but to share his own cup, his own baptism. He offered them communion with himself. There's no greater grace possible in this life or the next. And those who accept that grace (no cheap grace!) really have a Gospel to proclaim.

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