Grace Is Just Not Fair
Christopher B. Harbin
Ephesians 1:3-6; 2:9; 3:6-7; 4:1; 5:1; 6:19
"It just ain't fair!" How many of you have heard that said more than a couple dozen times? I have often right there over the years from childhood on, complaining against the perceived injustices in life all around me. As an adult I have the same reaction to goings on around me. We all do. We claim we want to be treated fairly. In reality, however, we really want to be treated with deference; we want to be recognized for our achievements, our efforts, and our worth. At heart, we don't really want to be treated with equality. We want to be treated and valued as somehow better than others.
I remember time and again hearing that life simply isn't fair. Part of my growing up was learning to accept that reality. On the childhood playground, life not being fair is something we can learn to accept, even when we don't like it. It is in the grown up spaces of life where we have more difficulty with the concept. It is more difficult for us, because, as adults, we no longer live on the playground. Our issues and circumstances have grown along with us. The stresses and pressures we face are still like those on the swing set and monkey bars, but we view them as having greater importance.
The gospel we proclaimed last week with the grace available to all through the Easter resurrection is a powerful message. It speaks of grace, equality, love, forgiveness, and acceptance. It makes for great headlines, Facebook memes, and catchy phrases for bumper stickers and church signs. The grace of God on display in the resurrection makes for wonderful theater and song. When we look at it closely, however, it is not exactly what we want the gospel to be. Deep down, we want a different message. We want something that makes us feel better about the injustices around us, that props us up, giving us that feel good rush we might get from Hollywood style entertainment. That is not what grace is about ...
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