Tuesday, September 30, 2008

posture of grace

On Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, the phrase "posture of grace" from Marilynne Robinson's new book entitled, Home, was mentioned on a posting, yesterday. I like that phrase, "posture of grace". It got me to thinking and really kind of wondering just what it might mean.

All too often it may mean to many that we simply choose to "live and let live." That we tolerate whatever our neighbor does, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, though we know better. Or that we simply stand by, rightfully not wanting to be among those Christians who seem to want to force feed "truth" down people's throats. Or something else which really doesn't measure up to Biblical faith.

Just what might "posture of faith (grace, I meant)" mean in a sense that does measure up to Biblical faith, and would be fitting in the Story of God found in the Bible? One of the first things I think of now is just the posture of receiving from God. This speaks of dependence and is expressed in a lived out faith in God that he will keep his promises to us in Jesus. Promises to help us through all our troubles and enable us to live in him.

Another aspect of "posture of grace" might be one of gently giving to others in the attitude of loving one's neighbor as ourselves. Beginning in prayer, as well as in deeds and words. The heart of the faith is that God in love gave his Son to the world. Jesus told his disciples that just as they had freely received, so they were to freely give. We must do so even as God does, who gives sunshine and rain to both the just and the unjust. So this posture of grace is to be not just for our friends, or for those we get along well enough with, but even for our enemies.

A posture of grace will be difficult to be in at times. It is something that is to be characteristic of our lives and is all about God's blessing through us to others. Jesus was full of grace and truth. We must simply seek to live this out in Jesus, in God's grace to us in him.

I don't know what this looks like quite often. That is understandable when one is tired or feels like they've been ridiculed and misunderstood. But this is where the rubber meets the road as to whether or not we're in this posture of grace. It's the way of the cross in this life before friend and foe alike. All of life is meant to be lived in a posture of grace, for us in Jesus.

What do you think "posture of grace" could mean?

7 comments:

Deb said...

A good and thought provoking post! I have been thinking about grace often lately partly due to what books i've been reading as of late.

Every Square Inch said...

What do you think "grace" means? How does that affect our understanding of the "posture of grace"?

NaNcY said...

i would like to know what books deb has been reading.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Honey. Yes, your reading of Yancey's "What's So Amazing About Grace?" is appropriate on this. One of my top ten all time favorite books.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ESI,
Within the post I think what grace is is at least touched on. It's from God as gift. Something we can't earn or deserve. Something we can't do on our own. Only found "in Jesus."

So Ephesians 2:8-10 is a good passage to describe what grace is, our posture in that, and the results in God through Christ in our lives, which we're to live out.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I'll try to get Deb back on to tell you. She recently read L.L. Barkat's book, "Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places". Scot McKnight's book to be released in November: "Blue Parakeet". And others as well. She's been a voracious reader, lately. Beating me hands down in amount read.

Litl-Luther said...

Many years ago Don Sands asked me what I thought was the Bible's definition of grace. I responded "Romans 11:6":

"And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work."

This is the same verse Don had in mind. It really seems to sum up grace, in that grace must be seperate from all works--like water and oil can't mix--otherwise grace is no longer grace. And works are the fruit of grace.

As Ted points out, grace is something we cannot earn or deserve.