I keep noodling this idea of grace and transformation. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about not wanting to be “Just As I Am”. And this week I looked at the church’s slayer: grace. Over at RHE’s post on the conversation on the dialogue between churched and unchurched Christians, I wrote this:
“Whenever I look at these conversations, my first question is “where is the grace?” And by that I don’t mean tolerance. What I mean is where is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit? Too often people on both sides of the table set out with a “The other side needs me to change their mind, their convictions, their beliefs, their practices” when what we should be saying as we enter into the church is “Am I willing to let grace change me, and transform me? Am I willing to admit that I need to be transformed? Am I willing to allow grace to convict me and expose my blindspots?” Unfortunately it feels like we’ve exalted experience to the place of grace and made experience the authority that judges everything that does and should happen. (and this happens on both the churched and unchurched sides).”
And here a few more random thoughts that are bopping around in my head:
Our extending grace is done because God has first extended grace to us. The grace is not our own, it is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What happens when we receive grace? What happens when we extend grace? When we come in contact with grace the veil is pulled back, and we see the Holy Trinity dancing and working and rejoicing. This encounter with grace cannot leave us “just as we were”.
And I think that’s where I’m camping right now: Grace does not leave us unchanged.