This week’s reflection comes to us from Kelsi Walker, one of our venue worship pastors.
“Sin and grace, absence and presence, tragedy and comedy, they divide the world between them and where they meet head on, the gospel happens.”
– Frederick Buechner
There are these moments in our walk with the Lord here on earth that seem paradoxical. They are the moments that we can’t wrap our minds around because they are beyond this world and closer to Kingdom than to earth. My friend, Lindsay Mizell, talks about thin places, where the veil between heaven and earth is not as wide…. I think this is what that quote is talking about. I think of moments when heaven and earth collide and the goodness and power of God cannot be overlooked. I look at this quote above and think of a dozen stories in the Gospel when Jesus meets people or enters a new town. Jesus comes into the picture and turns the story upside down and brings what is lacking.
In John chapter 6, there is a field of hungry people, there is no food and people’s stomachs and souls are hungry. He feeds them and then in the same chapter tends to their souls in teaching them of His ways, the ways of God. Where there is hunger, Jesus provides food.
In Mark chapter 5 there is a man with an unclean spirit that Jesus meets. Men and women are afraid of the man and they have purposefully stayed away from the man. Jesus went to him and confronted the spirit. Where there is captivity, Jesus provides rescue.
In the same chapter there is a woman who had been sick for 12 years. She was seen as unclean as well. She had spent all of her money and time trying to be healed. She had the faith to touch Jesus’s hem as He walked by her and she was instantly healed. Where there is brokenness, Jesus provides healing.
Following this, still in Mark 5, Jesus goes to a man’s house because His daughter is sick and dying. By the time they get there, the little girl is dead. Jesus goes to her and says “little girl, I say to you get up,” and she wakes up. Where there is death, Jesus provides life!
Today, we are hungry and need rescue. We are broken and need real life. We are still sinners, yet loved and living in Grace! We are living in a fallen world, but because of Jesus we can experience the presence of God. Our lives somehow seems too bad to be true and too good to be true all at the same time. This Sunday, we sinners will sit in a church, or middle school, or theater and find grace after grace as the Spirit enters into the picture and turns our stories upside down and brings what is lacking. We experience the “already and the not yet” as the gospel is happening in our lives, fighting for us, as sin and grace, absence and presence, and tragedy and comedy meet head on.
When was the last time you had a moment that seemed closer to Kingdom than to earth? Was it a big event, or maybe just your morning quiet time? Do you look for these moments often enough?
Do you relate to one of these gospel stories more than another? Why is that? What is lacking in your life that Jesus can provide?
Do you feel the gospel happening in your life today?
Spirit come. This is confusing at times, it is easy to doubt if you are here and working. We are needy and the world hurts and longs for You. Let us be mindful of the ways you are working, mindful of the ways that You reach into our lives and bring us closer to You. You bring healing, You bring rescue, You bring life! May we understand You and Your love more and may we love others the same. Let our hearts be devoted to you today and every day. We love you Lord. Amen.