(Small church building in north Idaho near where my maternal grandfather’s body was laid to rest years ago)
December 21, 2011
Each year at this season my love for the language and meaning of the first chapter of John is renewed. The Word (Christ the Messiah) is described as being “full of grace and truth”. That phrase has me captured.
When it comes to balancing grace and truth, humans have a hard time. We go to one side or the other.
Truth often suffers as we wander off into realms of a “grace” that ignores or at least diminishes truth. Sometimes the quick rejoinder of “We are not under law now; we are under grace” carries an undercurrent: “Don’t bring up any uncomfortable truth here”. It’s as if we don’t want to hear what the unchanging God of Truth has said about certain subjects.
Grace often suffers when we become so harshly devoted to the truth we shun or look down on those who don’t quite make our standards. Forgiveness wanes. Walls between congregations and between individuals are bricked into place. After all, my version of the truth is The Truth.
Years after His birth, He said He came to testify to the truth. Jesus was full of both grace and truth. He taught that one quality does not have to rise above or diminish the other.
Too bad we don’t listen better.