I have had a harder week than usual. I had a baffling poetry journal due Friday, along with several other big assignments, it snowed again, and on Thursday, in aerobic conditioning, we did kickboxing. (I know there are many people in my life who would probably pay to see me kickbox, and actually, watching myself in that big mirror really was quite entertaining. But tickets aren’t yet for sale. Probably never will be, actually.) I am tired and I am needy, but this week, I have been given grace. My friend Heidi has been sending out prayer requests for specific girls each day, and Thursday was my day. I was so very blessed to know that so many people who love me were praying for me at once. God heard their prayers, and gave me the grace to live and blog again.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the nature of the grace extended to us in Christ. There was an “insuperable barrier,” and that, of course, was the law. 1 Timothy 1:8-11 says, “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.” That is me: lawless, insubordinate, contrary. That is all of us.
Here is my favorite part: When God, “according to His glorious gospel” wanted to save us, He did not give us the power to obey the law He had made for us. He did not make us capable. He said, “As long as the law exists, you will not be able to perfectly fulfill it. But I will fulfill it for you. WATCH ME.” God didn’t just give us rest, He gave us himself, the Prince of Peace. He didn’t just give us strength, He gave us Himself, the God of all might. He didn’t just give us the power to love, He gave us Himself, and He is Love.
When we take the Lord’s supper it is symbolic of the truth that He is our bread and our wine, the sustenance of our soul, mind, and body. In John 6:57 Jesus declares “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” This is what Gerard Manley Hopkins meant when he said we must “glean our saviour.” He is the only source of life. Without Him we fade and crumble. Every particle of our energy must be had from Christ. God loves you and I enough that He gave us, not a gift or even many gifts, but the Source of all good and perfect gifts. 1 John 4:10 says “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
This means something else, though. We are to be “little Christs,” and “imitators of God.” What do we do? What do we give Him? Ourselves. God did not give us power, because He did not want the fruits of our labor. He gave us Himself, because He wanted us, and nothing less.