The kingdom of God come in Jesus, extends to all who respond to this "embracing grace". We embrace, in return, and then learn, over time to embrace with grace in the same way we've been embraced. This involves every part of our world, and really extends to every nook and cranny on earth. And, in a real sense, it takes a lifetime for each one of us in Jesus.
This was likely true of the apostle John, whose early actions and words are a far cry from his letters he wrote as an older man in 1, 2 and 3 John. We find this true in noteworthy ways, inspiring in the depth out of which people have and are rising out of. Into new persons in Jesus. And if we look at ourselves aright, then we'll find that we too, in Jesus, are in their company. We too have our stories to tell. We too need to travel a long way, taking time, even decades, to begin to really live in that life Jesus has promised to us, a life that is full and overflows (John 10). A life more and more conformed in the image of our Lord, as we come to our unique, God-given real selves in Jesus.
This is a reality that is to extend beyond us, and really through us, so as to begin to take in all others to the table with Jesus. So that they, along with us can grow together into the wonderful likeness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
This book is full of good stories and quotes from people in the family of embracing grace. I love the story of Karen Spears Zacharias, writer of Hero Mama (the paperback version, After the Flag is Folded). She tells of the devastation the death of her father in Vietnam brought on her and her family. And God's embracing grace that came in. And the voice that she now has, in telling her story, and helping the families of others who have lost loved ones in war.
We each have stories to tell. We're all works in progress, in Jesus. He takes us, and makes us into the persons we were meant to be. We find our true selves, and our true place in God's wonderful Story.
As Jesus reaches out to embrace each of us, to embrace you, won't we respond in turn? And embrace him? And each other? And the world? God, help us to do so, by your grace given to us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The links in working through Scot McKnight's book: Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us:
intro to "the gospel of embracing grace"
embracing grace 1: performing the gospel
embracing grace 2: the beginning of the gospel
embracing grace 3: the story of the Eikon
embracing grace 4: cracked Eikons
embracing grace 5: the epic of the Eikon
embracing grace 6: page after page
embracing grace 7: a missional gospel
embracing grace 8: stories of the gospel story
embracing grace 9: the divine comedy gospel
embracing grace 10: a five-foot gospel
embracing grace 11: diminished by exclusion
embracing grace 12: enlivened by embrace
embracing grace 13: dancing embrace
embracing grace 14: a family of embracing grace
This is definitely a book to be read and reread, a gift to help us live together in the greatest Gift of all.