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September 9, 2020

“Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace.” Hebrews 13:9a

My first thought upon hearing today’s passage from the Daily Texts is that we should not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; instead, we should be carried away by one particular strange teaching. It’s worth pausing for a moment and remembering that the content of Christian faith is, well, strange.

We believe that a human named Jesus, born in a stable and raised far from the seat of power, is also God. We believe that he was put to death in an incredibly painful and shameful way, and yet was raised from the dead. We believe that Jesus and his Father have sent the Holy Spirit to fill enliven and enlighten the people of the world. We believe that these Three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are also perfectly One.

I mean, it’s all a bit strange.

Truth be told, one way to differentiate our faith from the other strange teachings in this world is that they’re not strange enough by half. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews notes the peculiar character of our faith: grace. In a world that constantly tells us to do more, be more, God says, “I am enough for you.” To address the brokenness of our world, God comes among us in grace; dies for us in grace; is raised for us to proclaim the graceful promise that in Christ our deaths will not be the end.

How strange. How incredibly, sweetly strange!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of grace, your majesty and mystery are beyond our comprehension. Yet you chose to be born among us, to live and die, that we might apprehend you. Let us the live strange, faithful life of grace today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Jesus Teaching His Disciples, from a 1684 Arabic manuscript of the Gospels, copied in Egypt by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib (used with permission).

From → COVID-19

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