Monday, November 29, 2010

Jesus my Savior

I was reading My Utmost for His Highest this morning (side note: I always want to say “upmost.” Doesn’t that make more sense? Who uses the word utmost anyways.) Well, Oswald said that one problem we have today is celebrating the person of Jesus and trying to imitate him as a kind and worthy person to imitate, but removing the focus away from his saving grace and how we desperately need his salvation. He is first our Saviour and second our Pattern for who we should be in the world.

This was particularly striking to me because my deepest prayer for the past six years has been “Lord, please make me more into the image of Christ.” I realized as I was reading MUfHH this morning that I have been very focused on becoming more Christ-like, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But I am no longer focusing on the fact that I have a deep need for a savior. We all do. This also ties in with Brian’s story and his message he gave last week at HC. It’s hard to need Christ when we don’t really need him. We think we’re fine on our own. However we all know that we cannot earn our own salvation. I know that Christ has paid the way for me. But sometimes I forget about that. I stop being thankful for that. And instead I focus on how I can get on with my spiritual maturation. This year, during Advent and Christmas, I hope I am able to grasp and remember deep down how truly blessed I am to have not only a Pattern, but also a Savior. Maybe this will become my new prayer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wondering if we give thanks the right way

Peruse the internet for even seven seconds today and you'll see list upon list of things people are thankful for. I think you're likely aware of this.

What strikes me with these lists (and in my own) is how thankfulness tends to be expressed as a dichotomy (big word) towards another fate.

You're thankful for family because not everyone has one
You're thankful for food because not everyone can eat today
You're thankful for warm clothing because there are people freezing outside

And so on.

What strikes me is in all these scenarios, we're not truly thankful until that thing is taken away from us. I mean, we can go through the motions of being thankful. It usually feels to me like 10% truth and 90% lip service. I find this problematic.

Let's extend this problem a little further:
Do we do the same thing with receiving God's grace? Where we only truly feel it when we've screwed something up?

I'm guessing the answer is 'yes' for most people. That seems messed up. God's grace is not reserved for people with extreme testimonies. As someone whose testimony tends toward the extreme side, I wish I'd been walking on the path since day one.

There's got to be a more accurate way of feeling thankful. There's got to be a better way of feeling God's grace.

My guess is we'd rather worship extreme situations and function in opposition to them. It's a much better story that way, right?