My family and I were recently at the beach. The place we were staying at was right on the ocean and it had several amenities that you could only access if you had on a bracelet from the resort. We wore our bracelets all week so we could access the lazy river, swimming pools, etc. One day Cadence and I were walking up from the beach with all kinds of gear in tow. We were burdened down by chairs, umbrellas, towels, bags, etc. There were signs, of course, that instructed us to wash the sand off before entering the gate to the resort. And naturally there was a security guard standing there checking to see if we had on a bracelet before we could enter the gate. It was a bit of a struggle to get my arm loose from all the things that I was carrying, while standing there dripping wet and trying not to lose Cadence in the process.
I get it that random people can’t just wander in and use the amenities of the resort that others have paid good money to use, but I wanted to say to the guy, “Dude, the vast ocean is 20 feet from here and stretches as far as I can see. I walked up to it for free, you’re trying way too hard to guard this little bit of water in this swimming pool.” By nature of the fact that “GRACE” is in the name of this blog, I bet you know where I’m going to go with this.
Yes. I’m going there. Come with me. I love the church. I LOVE it. But can I just say that we’re trying too hard to be gatekeepers? Do we need to live holy lives set apart from the world? Yes. Yes, we do. But the heart of the matter is that God’s grace is vaster than the ocean, deeper than the depths of the sea and completely free. Yet, we take a “members only” approach to grace as the church. Instead of giving grace away for free and with abandon, we expect everyone to wash off first and show us their credentials before they can get into our little pool of grace. All the while they are struggling with the burdens they are carrying and could really use some help instead of an inspection at the checkpoint.
I’m just saying that Jesus Christ already paid the price for us to have grace. Paid the price for the whole vast world in fact. So, maybe we need to be a little less exclusive and a lot more sharing of all this grace. Afterall, Jesus said he was the gate. He is the way. He wants people to come through the gate a whole lot more than He wants us guarding it.
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