Grace is Not Reasonable (rewritten from Dec. 2013)

 

Reasonable: Sensible, rational, practical, logical, evenhanded

Unreasonable: not guided by or based on good sense; beyond the limits of acceptability or fairness.

There is much in the world these days that is unreasonable; there is much that seems lost to good sense – from politics to the media, the world is amok in irrationality and unreasonableness.

Let me take this to another level; based on the above definitions, 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 he tells us anyone can draw near to God, be a friend of God, if only we surrender and accept the grace of it all?

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, the religious leaders and consistently show 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.

That is not my idea of sane or reasonable and grace is the key to the doors of this upside-down Kingdom.

Jesus is just plain unreasonable and screws up all my preconceived notions, messes with plans, confuses me and makes me uncomfortable.  And those of us who say we follow him way too often try and tame, deputize, and moralize him, making him into either an Uncle Sam savior or a Pinocchio wrapped in Lev jeans, a goatee, hipster glasses and mod rock music.

Try and tame a tiger and risk losing your hand.  Try taming God and risk losing everything…

God is unreasonable.   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 it, plain and simple, grace is absurd.  And way too many of us spend too much time trying to ‘figure’ grace out rather than asking for and experiencing it; far too many try and control it foolishly, like gripping sand tightly hoping to prevent it slipping from their hands, rather than sharing and giving it.

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