Thursday, May 10, 2012

Learning from Leia

Sometimes we forget that Christ changes everything. Nowhere is this forgetfulness more apparent than when we forget that the beauty and indispensability of grace is only beautiful and indispensable because we have been the recipients of that gratuitous grace. This grace changes everything. It changes our view of the world, our affections, our idea of what is beautiful, good, true, just, normal, interesting, and possible.

So we must not wonder at those who are still yet strangers and aliens to this grace, that when they hear us talk about salvation by faith apart from any effort of our own they often look at us with confused stares or explode in incredulity at the foolishness and injustice of this scheme.

"What about all the good people? You mean to tell me that if Hitler trusts in the work of Jesus he'll be accepted but if Mother Theresa works really hard to be good she's going to Hell?"

This is indeed one of the offenses of the Gospel. That from beginning to end, whether in justification or sanctification, the good news is that it is all of grace. The rebellious heart of humanity shakes it's head and fist at the foolishness of this idea.

What we see as a beautiful solution to an impossible problem the world sees as an ugly attack on their own autonomy.

So what do we say in response to their criticism? I can't help but paraphrase the now immortal words of Princess Leia to Obi-Wan Kenobi, "Help me Jesus you're my only hope."

The cross may be foolishness and a scandal to the world but it nevertheless remains our only hope. For a culture that seems to be enamored with irony, Christianity offers a whopper of a cosmic irony, that the foolish solution to sin and suffering secured on a cross is actually the fount of wisdom and power. Christ does indeed change everything - Lord Jesus begin with me.

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