Jabbok Dawn

Tumbling in the Sand

The Mystery that is Grace


The texts for January 6, 2013 (Epiphany Day): Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3: 1-12; and Matthew 2:1-12

“Although I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given to me to bring to the Gentiles the news of the boundless riches of Christ, and to make everyone see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;”-Ephesians 3:8-9

…the mystery hidden for ages in God…

I love that line. The idea that grace could be mystery. You see, Paul is talking about grace here—this radical grace of God that would include even the Gentiles, those non-chosen people … uh, us. The mystery that is grace.

It’s so beautiful and powerful. Grace as mystery.

It’s like a really foggy morning where everything is unknown and magical and moist and alive.

It’s like the stars on a really clear, dark night that seem to go on infinitely and the longer you look, the more there are.

It’s like the Northern lights in the middle of January in Alberta hanging from the sky, moving in curtains of light and colour, crackling in the night—so close you could almost touch it and yet, so, so far away.

It’s like the feel of gentle rainfall on your face when you look up at the sky—somehow soft and cleansing—comforting even—even as it is hard and cool.

It’s, it’s like the beguiling smell of some summer flower filling the air, but not giving its location away, so that you follow your nose searching for the source…

That is mystery. This untouchable, yet intimate thing. This unknowable but deeply known thing. This thing we catch glimpses and think we see and yet, it darts beyond us, into our unknowing. Mystery. It’s bigger than us. Comforting and frightening. Awe and curiosity inducing. Somehow playful and yet, we breathe into the silence of it and are often made still…

There is something about mystery that you cannot grasp or market or hold on to. There is something un-containable about mystery, something not meant to be small enough to keep. And yet, mystery is often intimately near—like you “get it” somehow in a way that is too close to the heart for even words to really explain. That is mystery. And that is grace, too.

Too big to contain. Too beyond our grasp to sum up. Too amazing to not get lost in. Kind of like stars in the sky and mysterious visitors in the night and the smell of a pleasant fragrance, like Frankincense, filling the air. Grace is dreams that send us in wild directions and light that guides us to places we’ve never even imagined. Grace is this thing that messes up what we think we know so that we may see what we do not know. Grace is what leaves us searching for the source, feeling the comfort in the rain, and being lost in the dizzying array of lights in the night sky. Grace is what helps us to let go so that we may be held in the boundless riches of God.

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This entry was posted on January 4, 2013 by in Sparks from the Lectionary and tagged , , , , , , , .

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