Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wake-up Verse and Where it Took Me

Last night I tried to go to sleep after playing on the internet for a few hours. I didn't do anything spectactular while I was online. I did skim through the Lutheran Carnival at The Aardvark's place o' residence in this great blogosphere and I must say that I again realized that I haven't a clue about Lutheran Doctrine. Go read the Carnival this week. It is just chock full o'nutty thigs, let me take this opportunity to thanks and congratulate the Great Aardie for a fantastic job, he had mucho entries he had to wade through and he stitched together a nice carnival... here, here *raises beer glass and bangs on the table with his left fist*

Sorry about the digression. Where was I, oh yes, I tried to go to sleep after being online for a fe hours and that is a near impossility. I need to read a book or somethng for a little bit afterwards to that my eyes and brain can recalibrate and reconoiter themselves into my head, put another way I am impressed that I can actually see this morning. These last couple days at work have been crazy as everyone runs hither and yon trying to get their Christmas gifts (for the more P.C. out there: their Holiday gifts). Being in retail at Christmas time is a gas, but can be very tiring. I finally fell asleep around two or so this morning, I think. I didn't have a real good, deep sleep, but it was enough. I woke up about seven and got a drink of water and then went back to sleep again until about nine. I had a deeper sleep that tieme, much deeper. As I came out of that sleep a strange thing happened. For some reason I found myself whispering to myself John1:10. I don't know why, but I kept repeating John 1:10. Once, I got myself somewhat conscious I reached down for my good ol' Concordia Self-Study Bible and read John 1:10
He was in the world and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

For the last 45 minutes I have been trying to figure out why I was thinking of this verse-- let me clear about this: I was not familiar with this verse, I mean I've read it before, but I could not have quoted it from memory. This kind of thing kind of creeps me out in a good way. I have often heard it said that God talks to us through scritures, matter of fact, I believe it is in 2 Timothy
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that every man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.(3:16-17)

Sadly, though, I know that the John verse is true in my casae. I don't recognize The Son. I like to think I do, but I know I don't-- it is just another failing of mine in my sinful nature, but thankfully, God's Grace trumps this: I am made clean through His love and His son's sacrifice.

By their own strength, people cannot fulfill God's Law. They are all under sin, subject to eternal wrath and eath. Because of this we cannot be freed by the Law from sin and be justified... the promise of forgiveness of sins and of justification has been given us for Christ's sake, who was given for us in order that He might make satisfaction for the sins of the world. He has been appointed Mediator and Atonting Sacrifice.... forgiveness of sins is freely offered... it follows that we cannot justify ourself.... the promise can only be recievedby faith, the Gospel.... faith freely recieves forgiveness of sins.... faith is the true knowledge of Christ and helps itself to the benefit of Christ...
taken from the Apology of the Augsburg Confession Article IV, Lines40-46. Book of Concord, Reader's Edition

"Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacracments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at ut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasure from which she shwers blessing with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; Grace without cost! The essence of grae we suppose , is that the account has been aide in advance; and, because it has been paid everything can be had for nothing.... Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle... (it) means the justification of the sin without the justification of the sinner... it is imperative for the Christian to achieve renunciation, to practice self-effacement, to distinguish his life from the life of the world. He must let grace be grace indeed, otherwhise he will destry the world's faith in the free gift of grace.... Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion withou confession, absolution without personal confesion. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ... Costly grace is the trasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has... Costly grace is the gospel whihc must be sought again and again, the gift must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.... it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ... it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son... Above all, it is grace becase God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is he Incarnation of God..."

from The Cost of Disipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (italics, mine).

My grace is sufficent for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Cor. 12:9

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