The writer of Psalm 69 feels like he is drowning in injustice. What he is experiencing is not right. From being falsely accused to being discriminated against; and from being bullied to being shamed because of who he is - all of the "-isms" are seemingly experienced by this one person.
We might be able to in-part, relate. From economic uncertainty to educational instability and from community health to social injustice – these are all realities that are happening to us. Like the psalm writer, life is out of our control.
We discover that we and the psalm writer are after the same thing: grace and justice (judgment).
Grace and justice (judgment) are two sides of the same coin. But, I’ve never thought about it in the way my friend Keith and I unpacked it in this past week’s Monday Morning Preacher Podcast.
Check it out.
"When we try to apply grace legalistically, what happens is that you end getting rid of justice". - B. Keith Haney
Wow. Grace was never meant to be legalized - it is meant to be liberally given, not by a policy or proclamation, but by a person.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
Making laws that govern grace never works to bring peace, freedom, a celebration of the diversity of God's creation, the equity of the gospel, or the inclusion of a mosaic of people with incredible gifts and abilities. If anything, making laws to ensure grace abounds only makes us more keenly aware of the grace that is lacking in our lives and in our world.
"God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant" (Romans 5:20).
If we want to pursue a more equal, inclusive, diverse, and just community, society, and world, then let's stop trying to legalize grace in a system that was never made to give it. We are the givers of grace. Person-to-person. Face-to-face. Life-on-life.
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Who do you know needs "good news" today? Go and be it... and give it! Because the law isn't working anymore.
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor.