Tag Archives: grace

We Were Dead To Begin With

“Once again, I must ask you to remember that the Marleys were dead, and decaying in their graves.
That one thing you must remember, or nothing that follows will seem wondrous.”
– Gonzo as Charles Dickens in The Muppet Christmas Carol

Our mutual love for The Muppet Christmas Carol greatly contributed to Greg and me getting married.  This great line – whispered by Gonzo for dramatic emphasis – seems especially appropriate for the grander narrative of Christmas.

Gonzo & Rizzo

The Bible tells us that we are born spiritually dead. We, like the Marleys, are decaying in spiritual graves.
In a strange sort of image, we, corpses, often try to “fix” our spiritual problem in any number of ways. But the attempts are as absurd as a corpse putting on perfume!  The corpse is dead, and perfume cannot do anything about that fact.

God sees us trying to fix our dead bodies, and says, “No, my dear one, that won’t work.  You need me to make you alive.”

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. – Ephesians 2:5

This story is the most beautiful one in all of creation, but we chafe at it. It bothers us because it requires us to accept that we are born dead.  (It reminds me of the medical students in the 1800s who refused to wash their hands between examining infected corpses and delivering babies: they refused to accept that a gentleman’s hands could be dirty. Story here.)

We ask, “Why would God make me this way (dead)?  That’s not fair.”  “Why would a good God make creatures that were dead?”

When we really get down to it, I think the heart of the matter is this: we squirm at the fact that, in our dead state, we need God.  We hate the dependence.  We think a “good God” would have made creatures that didn’t need to be saved – that didn’t need Him.

Oh, the pride!! Oh, the haughtiness!!!

Let us humble ourselves and see the truth: rather than puzzling over why we are born spiritually dead, let us recognize that God. could. have. left. us. that. way.

But He didn’t.  He was born a man at Christmas, and died, sinless, at Easter, to make His dear ones alive.

May we exclaim with the reformed Ebeneezer Scrooge: “Oh Jacob Marley, Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!”  Praise God, who at Christmas became one of us so that we might be made alive!

Merry Christmas.

(If anyone has an image of Patrick Stewart’s Scrooge rejoicing in his bedroom on Christmas morning, I’d be grateful!)

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“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” – Ezekiel 18:23

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

“…whosoever comes to me I will never cast out.” – John 6:37

Compared to the holiness of God, Osama bin Laden was no worse a sinner than I am.
I have murdered in my heart. I have separated myself from God. Without the grace of Christ, my justice would be death. He took me, put my sins on Himself, and wiped my slate clean.
The Bible teaches that He would have done the exact same for Osama, had he been willing to accept it.

Thank you, Lord, for Easter and the grace you have freely given.

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Let’s Danse

After several years on Xanga and at least a week of trying to find the name for this blog, here I am.

Other choices:

Undying hope

Not home yet

Beautiful contradiction

Rhythm with reason

But here I settle on xorosxaris: technically, χορος χαριτος, a danse of Grace.

Danse from Caedmon’s Call, from the longing in my soul, from the simple movements of bodies on a stage to the great Cosmic Danse of C.S. Lewis, Caedmon’s Call, Steven Curtis Chapman, and even the god-is-dead Nietzhce, who would only believe in a God who could dance.

Grace, His grace.  

χαρις, ιτος: f. grace, kindness, mercy, goodwill, a special manifestation of the divine presense, a blessing.

Greek because it’s the language in which the world first read of Him.  And it emphasizes the connection between dance and grace.

I’m not a graceful dancer.  This is the danse of His grace.  I am the heart, He is the heartbeat.  He is the Lord of this danse.  Without this grace, I would be dead on the floor.

Let’s danse.


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