When you get right down to it, God can be a bit unreasonable.
God is not always rational, practical, sensible or within the bounds of reason. How reasonable and rational is a God Who chooses to use the wounded, the broken, the fallen, the fallible and even the wicked to do the divine bidding? I mean becoming flesh, walking among us, telling us we are God’s children and that God cares for us better than the best parents? Then we are told anyone can draw near to God, be a friend of God, if only we surrender and accept the grace of it all?
The bottom line is – grace is absurd and even downright offensive.
Jesus was not so reasonable or practical; his resume would not have gone too far in the corporate or religious world today, if we judged by reason, rationale and appearances. God’s ‘business plan’ was (and still is) completely maniacal: hang out with the poor, the rejected, the unclean, the blue collar types. It gets even better, Jesus decided to spit fire towards the pious, the righteous, and the religious leaders, consistently showing disdain for the emperor time and again through stories, healings, and parables proclaiming to both that there is a new way, a new Leader, and a new Kingdom where all are welcome if they but ask and surrender.
That is not my idea of sane or reasonable and grace is the key to gates of this upside-down Kingdom.
God incarnate is just plain absurd and offensive, screwing up all my preconceived notions of grace – who deserves it, who gets it and who does not. God messes with my plans, confuses me and makes me uncomfortable.
And then there are those who follow Jesus – those who would try and tame God, sanitize him, even deputize and moralize him, making God into an Uncle Sam savior or a Pinocchio wrapped in Levi’s, a goatee, hipster glasses and mod rock music.
Hmmm…try and tame a tiger and risk losing your hand. Try taming God and risk losing everything…and gaining even more.
God is unreasonable. God is absurd. And God is offensive.
And thank God for that! And if God were not, we’d all be doomed. For grace is the outflow of God’s unreasonableness. So therefore grace is not reasonable either.
Grace can be absurd. God’s love is absurd as well. Why would Jesus of Nazareth live a life that he did: loving the unlovable, defying social convention and norms, threatening the state simply by the love he showered upon people when he healed them, only to be executed for sedition. Why?
It is absurd that one must die for the many to live.
I will say this as plain and simple as I can, again and again: grace is absurd and offensive. And way too many of us spend too much time trying to ‘figure’ it out rather than experiencing it; far too many try and control it foolishly, like gripping sand tightly hoping to prevent it slipping from their hands rather than just sink into it like a soft, warm blanket on a crisp Winter day.