Saturday, March 2, 2013

Scandalous Grace

I know, quite the title.
The first time I heard it, I had to really step back and think about it for a second. My reason for this post is that this phrase has been brought up to me twice in the last week by two different sources. Usually when things like that happen, there's a reason :) So it really got me thinking. I know what grace is. But what exactly is scandalous grace?

 Well, to start, here are the definitions of each:
 Scandalous : offensive to propriety or morality : shocking
 Grace : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

So, an offensive or shocking display of unmerited, divine assistance for our sanctification? Interesting. But what does that actually mean?

 The first time I heard this phrase was while reading this amazing book called, "Jesus Is". It's by a pastor named Judah Smith. You can check out more about it here, if you want. He tells the story about the prodigal son. You know the story. The son decides he wants to do life his way and asks for his inheritance. A major slap in the face to his father. Pretty much a complete disgrace on the family in that time in history. The father gives it all to him and lets him go. Well, after he spends all of his money, loses everything, and hits the lowest point he can, he finally decides to go home; thinking perhaps he could just ask his dad if he could be a servant in his home. After all, his dad couldn't possibly take him back as son? I mean right? He has completely disgraced his family. 

This is where the scandalous grace shows up. Crazy!

So the son starts walking home. When he sees the house on the horizon,  he sees his dad too. A long way off. And he is running towards his son. RUNNING?! In that culture, men did not run. It was seen as disgraceful. But it didn't matter. The father ran to his son, embraced him, kissed him and completely restored him. He had his servants bring him his finest robe, a ring and sandals and then threw him a massive party in his honor. This did not make any sense for this culture. A son disgraces his father, runs off doing who knows what, then tries to come home and is not only allowed home, but fully restored to what he was before? What was this father thinking?!

But isn't that what God does for us? We mess up and run away, trying to do things on our own. And when that low point is hit, He is still just waiting for us to come back. Waiting to restore us. I don't know about you, but that's pretty amazing.  It doesn't make sense in my mind. Yet, what He does, what He did by sending his son to die for my sins; that doesn't really make sense either. And yet, I am so grateful.

For me, this fresh perspective on grace was needed this week. I hope it helps someone else out there too :)

Much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment