Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Yesterday while I was blogging I was trying to find a specific scripture and I'm glad I couldn't find it right away because I found one that totally inspired and moved me to tears. It comes from Matt 11 and the context is, I think, that Jesus was basically fed up with all the places He had been that did not repent. He starts off with a tribute to John the baptist, basically mocking everyone who didn't get just who John was. Then suddenly like He can't take talking to humans any more He starts praying and, to me, it seems like His whole attitude changes. I mean in verses 20-24 He basically says all these cities are doomed to hell and then He prays and then calls out with compassion to those who are fed up with religion. It's beautiful, the heart the Father has, His love seems to even affect Jesus here. Read it in the Message and then in the NASB.

25-26Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."
 27Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge. No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does. But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen.
 28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
   28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Ok so a few things really stick out to me. (I love that this is so totally my blog and that I can say whatever I want without having to explain myself. I'm no theologian these are just my thoughts so you shouldn't take anything I say as more then that.) First, I really, really love the idea of learning the "unforced rhythms of grace." What does that even mean really? It's so beautiful and speaking as someone who pretty much lacks grace in every way besides the grace the Father has for me, it's so touching! I'm moved to tears by this, I can't explain it. Are you tired? Worn out? Let the Father sweep you away! You'll recover your life!

I also really love the way Jesus prays here. As a mom I often talk to my husband about something in ear shot of my kids that's really meant for them to hear and not so much for my husband to know. Does anyone else do this? For example "Oh daddy I'm so glad I decided not to go to the park today. Everyone was just too grouchy, we wouldn't have had any fun." It seems like that's what Jesus is doing here. I don't know I could be wrong. I just really love His prayer. I don't have to know it all to come to Him, in fact He wants me to come to Him simply and ordinary, like an infant. He's prepared to go over it all line by line with us. I just love it! It touches something so deep inside me. He takes time and care with us. He's already prepared for us to not get it or understand it.

YOU. Whoever you are. He's coming for you. You don't have to fix yourself up, or try to figure it out. If you are carrying something heavy or ill-fitting, it's not from the Father. Lay it down and go to Him. You will find rest for your soul. Come learn the unforced rhythms of grace with me.