Freezing temperatures here in Maryland have nudged me into editing my old journals. With nearly forty year’s worth of writing, I’m hoping the weather breaks before I get through the whole lot of them.
Two streams have clearly marked off my days: law and grace. Or more accurately, there’s a stream, and a catchment pond of do-it-yourself religion, law-keeping, and failed attempts at being a better Christian. Paul refers to the catchment pond as a “veil over the hearts of the people. “Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But the moment anyone returns to the Lord, the veil is gone.” (2 Corinthians 3:15-16)
Forty years distilled into dead religion or life and freedom, and I’m betting I’m not alone in this. Some of you – or maybe many of you – might even feel today like there’s a veil over your heart. God seems distant, disengaged or disappointed with you. I believe this can only mean one thing: we have returned to the law.
The stream of grace is the Spirit himself flooding our hearts with hope, encouragement, and a clear conscience towards God. It’s unleashed not by religious activity, but by simple faith in the risen Christ. So come with me, and let’s return to the God of grace, who offers all of Himself to unworthy sons and daughters who have nothing to give in return. Lets believe again that Jesus has taken every possible obstacle out of the way, (especially sin and the law), and extended His love to us freely and without merit.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)