Gifts that Last

grace and truthI remember it.  It had little metal men who had two holes on their bottom section to hold them in place on little metal peg so they could “skate” on the table. It was known as “table hockey” and it was all I wanted for Christmas way back when. Today, I have no idea where that game is that I desired so much.

My priorities have changed quite a bit since then. My wife would say the only thing that has changed is the cost of the toys I want, but I digress!

In the Gospel of John, we read in 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (English Standard Version)” Here we have the divine agenda for the Son of God to become human. He was living among us to show exactly what God was like. The word ‘dwelt’ carries the idea of ‘pitching a tent.’ He lived among us so we could see God.

What specifically did Jesus do to show God? He was full of grace and truth.  As we read the gospels we are struck with his grace to forgive and his committment to the truth of God.  Both were always held in tension, one could not exist without the other in Jesus. He was constantly running into trouble with the “truth police” at that time, the Pharisses, for forgiving people whom they thought should not be forgiven but rather stoned to death.

Truth and grace are gifts that we need today, I do at least.  We are constantly trying to balance them in our relationships with other people. When our children were little it was a challenge to try figure out who was right and who was at fault and if the “crime” they committed was worthy of being corrected or it was just something that could be chalked up to being a kid. In our church, it is always difficult to try and judge matters. But if we can somehow matter to balance these two in a spirit of humility then we will not go too far wrong.

As I look toward 2014, my goal is to hold these two character qualities in tension.  I want to strive to be all that Jesus is and desires me to become! Will you join me in that? I’d love to hear from you so we can pray for each other in this noble goal!

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