The Audacity of Grace9th July 2015
Inspired by the Rev Dr Giles Fraser on Thought for the Day last week, I have been musing on the situation in Greece.
The Audacity of Grace
There is no ledger,
No account book,
No debt to repay.
And I, I am the receiver of the same
God given, unconditional, no strings
All encompassing, no caveats, no loopholes
And my role is to live that grace
Expressing it in all I do
Expressing the freedom it gives me
And the instinct for generosity and grace
To all who cross my path.
If we acted towards our own and Greece’s debt the way God dealt with us
(remember the parable of the ungrateful servant?)
Would we act differently?
There would be no debt to repay.
There would be generosity, forgiveness and gratitude.
And no harm done.
This is Giles Fraser’s Thought for the Day that got me thinking. I quote below, the full text is available here.
“The dominant western theological model of redemption is basically that of debt repayment. It goes like this: human beings have sinned against God and thus incurred a debt that has to be repaid. It’s a bit like speaking of criminals “paying back” their debt to society. But because this debt has become impossibly enormous, Jesus comes and pays it back on our behalf. That’s what happens on the cross. […] But the Greek Orthodox Church sees the salvation story completely differently. For the eastern orthodox churches, the key event is the resurrection not the crucifixion. […] For the eastern church, we are released from the burden of impossible debt by a God who believes in new life through extravagant forgiveness. In the economy of salvation, abundance of life trumps the iron cage of debt. For the western church, however, this a free lunch model of salvation that allows believers to elude any responsibility for past behaviour.”