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Torrents of Grace 2

“When a little girl believes there is a monster lurking in the cupboard or under her bed - what happens to her? It is as if a razor is slicing through her soul, and we may say she is baptised with anxiety. The end result is that she has her freedom to enjoy just being herself and life itself curtailed and destroyed - she no longer plays and laughs with the same proper childlike abandonment. She has been turned in upon herself and fear takes over. Behold so many of our responses to God - we have made him into a monster hiding from us, out to get us when  he can, WHEN ALL HE HAS EVER WANTED IS TO HAVE US CLOSE TO HIM, HELD WITHIN THE EMBRACE OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE HOLY TRINITY. My dear brothers and sisters, what we must come to see, to know, to yield to, if we are to ever get out of this pit and walk in the sunny uplands of God’s favour is that there is an invisible river of glory, a torrent of grace, that is running through this phenomenon we call life - and it is a river that abounds in goodness and beauty and truth and joy and love. And the very life of this river is found in Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our very humanity is meant to be illuminated by the Holy Trinity - whether you are cooking, reading, completing jigsaws, writing, managing a hardware store, running, being a doctor, being a teacher, being a mum or a dad, being yourself; whether you are gardening, making music, listening to music, painting, laughing, making love, feasting or forming friendships - whatever - all you do and all you are occurring because of the Trinity including you in their life. You and your life are the expression of that great waterfall of life, that torrent of grace, of dance and blessing, of truth, beauty and goodness, flowing through and from and in and all around you. If you listen carefully, you can hear the roar of the Lion of Judah, the very Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world: “ I did not create you to perish. I did not create you to flounder in misery, and pain, to live in brokenness, heartache and destitution. I created you for life, to share in my grace, and my life and my glory. I created and redeemed you to participate in the very freedom and fullness and the free-flowing friendship, the goodness and the wholeness that I share with the Father and the Spirit - and I will have it no other way. It shall be so.” I hope the winters in your souls are beginning to thaw. Spring is coming. And where do we see this outburst of grace chiefly but in the Incarnation and the Atoning Death of Christ, and it is to these that I now want to turn. In his gracious desire to communicate with us, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity decided to become human and he entered all the darkness, the loneliness, the fear, the brokenness and estrangement, the frustration, the anger, the bitterness, the depression, the envy, the jealousy, the strife, the lust, the slander, the isolation, the guilt, the sorrow, the sadness, and even the murder of our human condition. Into this non-being and extinction (as Athanasius saw it) Christ entered, crossing all possible worlds, to lift us up out of the miry pit, and place us next to him, with a new song in our hearts - a song of praise and deliverance to our God. Human existence, broken and estranged from God as it is, must be radically recreated, utterly transformed, and put back together again, whole and healed - what the Bible calls “reconciled.”  And Jesus died on the cross so all this could be accomplished. He died there because the Father could not and would not forsake us. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” He died not to change God, but to change us. He died that awful abandonment to do away with our alienation and estrangement. His life for ours. In TF Torrance’s memorable phrase, Christ hammered fallen Adamic existence back into real relationship with the Father - with every nail smashed into his body and every sin held to his account, so we could be free.” Sent from my iPhone

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