Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grace

On Friday I was listening to Newstalk on my way home from work. Moncrieff had a guest on the phone who was from a church in the North. He spoke about how George Bests' sister had phoned him to tell him that her brother had given her life to Jesus 2 weeks before he died. A nurse had read the bible to him and prayed with him and he accepted Jesus as his saviour. What followed was a barage of synical texts saying how you can beat your wife, cheat on her, be a drunkard and so on, then on your death bed turn to Jesus and everything will be ok. Thats easy and not fair were the basic tones of the texts. all of them. I was pretty annoyed so i threw in my twopence.
I said that it isn't fair, but that is the difference between grace and karma. none of us deserve what Jesus has done for us. the theif on the cross, just before he died realised and confessed that Jesus was the messiah - Jesus did not hold the fact that he had led a degenerate life and had waited till then to say it against him, he told him he would be with him in paradise. that is the thing, Jesus's love IS an outrage. However it is the most beautiful outrage there could possibly be. Us who are so weak and unfortunately rebellious are loved by the most high God. anyways, Moncrieff ended the section of the show with my words which I thought was pretty cool.
It really did get me thinking again of how amazing God's grace is. I'll leave you with a passage from Bono from the book Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas , that I came across on Friday night- one can say what they like about Bono, however these words are pretty profound.

Assayas: I think I am beginning to understand religion because I have started acting and thinking like a father. What do you make of that?

Bono: Yes, I think that's normal. It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.

Assayas: I haven't heard you talk about that.

Bono: I really believe we've moved out of the realm of Karma into one of Grace.

Assayas: Well, that doesn't make it clearer for me.

Bono: You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I'd be interested to hear that.

Bono: That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity.

Assayas: The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that.

Bono: But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there's a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let's face it, you're not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That's the point. It should keep us humbled… . It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

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