Friday, June 25, 2010

Prostituting Grace?

I read Ezekiel 16 this morning. It's a chapter where God metaphorically describes how he picked up Israel as a helpless baby and how he cared for her and nurtured her to become a beautiful young woman. vs 14 "And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendour I had given you made your beauty perfect".
But (and of course there is a but) vs 15 follows "But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute. You lavished your favours on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his."
In the new covenant (the Jesus covenant) we don't speak of nations and riches, but rather of the church and grace. He has rescued us from our helpless place where we could not resist sin and given us power to bring about positive change in the world, by his grace.
Do we use that grace wisely and with humility - or do we lavish it on anyone who passes by? Do we bring glory to the one who changed us - or do we use his gifts to win friends in the world?
I think that there might be some who say that grace is meant to be prostituted. I can almost see that. But I don't agree. I know that this needs more thinking about . . .
(Tom Smith talks about Bonhoeffer and 'cheap grace' here.)


Rock in the Grass (Pete Grassow) said...

Hi Jenny
read Hymn 230 of the Methodist Hymns and Psalms:
especially vs 5:
"...we make his love too narrow
By false limits of our own,
And we magnify his strictness
With a zeal he will not own..."

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Hi Pete - I agree that the church has often made the way narrower than God intended - and that is not a good thing. But I still think that the way is narrow - as in the parable Jesus told.