last night brennan manning's 'the ragamuffin gospel' brought out an interesting question at our reading group. "can grace be taken too lightly, too flippantly?" i know it can, because i have sat there, in the cheap seats more times than i'd like to admit.
the discussion that came from this question was a good one...the reason i wanted to start a reading group in the first place.
it really is easy to take grace too lightly in the north american suburban church community. we have everything we need, and if we don't have it today, all we need to do is jump online, order it, and it can be here tomorrow. we have access to more than we'll ever need. our government works to ensure our rights are protected [ :-) ], our homes work hard to shelter us from the elements, we work hard to earn the paycheques that keep us from needing anyone else's help and to keep all the balls we have in the air from falling for lack of resources. aside from the aching feeling of emptiness inside, which could be filled temporarily with the right new toy, what real need to we have for God?
even in ministry. the point was brought up that we have everything we need to make a successful youth event or church service go without 'resorting' to prayer. we have the games, the knowledge, the talented people, the planning ability...if we don't have time to call on God, we can still have a pretty decent event.
contrast this with churches in poland and ukraine who have such an incredible passion for seeking God in prayer...a passion lacking here. they seek God because he is all they have. they know that without him, there is nothing else. because it's true.
a lot of the time it seems like we seek God because it is the polite thing to do. we are in his house after all, we should at least acknowledge his existence. when in reality, all that we have in the way of resources, possessions, whatever, truly is nothing, but we're so busy convincing ourselves that it's something and patting ourselves on the back that we don't need anyone else, that we forget how much we need God and God alone.
who is better off?
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