Monday, November 24, 2008

Grace for Others: Christ's example

One thing the Lord has really been convicting me about recently is the need to have grace for others.

The picture of Christ with his disciples comes to mind. Amazing to think that the Creator of the Universe came down to the level of 12 ordinary guys and worked with them, as a friend and rabbi, where each of them was. As I read the gospel accounts, I read about how he called them 'friends,' how he walked with them, cooked meals for them, talked about everyday issues with them (eg, paying tax); how he washed their feet.

By the questions they asked, it is clear that Christ was tremendously approachable to them. By the ridiculous arguments they had among themselves (like which of them was the greatest - Mark 9:33-35) in Christ's presence, it's amazing how patient Christ was with them.

Yes, the disciples had plenty wrong with them. Lots of specks, even lots of logs (Matthew 7:3). But these clearly aren't the things Christ focused on in them. No, Christ's relationship with his disciples was not one of accuser or 'fixer'; it was a relationship where the disciples felt unconditionally loved and affirmed. And in this form of relationship, through hours and hours and hours of eating and working and walking and living, Christ oversaw the gradual transformation of his chosen. And the fruits of his affirming discipleship are remarkable. Peter, for example, went from being a dopey act-first, think-later dude who made empty promises and abandoned Christ when he was arrested in the Garden of Olives; Peter went from this to, through Christ's years-long discipleship (and through the Cross and the equipping of the Holy Spirit, aka 'the Comforter' incidentally) to one of the great apostles of the New Testament; a man of courage, action, leadership and faith.

Yes, Jesus rebuked (eg, Matthew 16:23 - "Get behind me, Satan") and firmly exhorted (John 21 - "Feed my sheep"), and he required and expected much of his disciples, but the Lord Jesus was also an approachable friend, a patient mentor, an affirming teacher.

What a challenge. Notch another one up for grace.
ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2023+



27 Sat (1) 11am Commencement speaker at R. University, (2) ~3pm+ time w/ V/AR+
29 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer, (2) 3pm mtg DerCh - Mississauga
30 Tue (1) 10am ph call (AA), (2) 5:30pm video mtg (IsTan), (3) 8pm neighbourhood prayer mtg

1 Thu (1) 11:30am Zoom mtg (LM), (2) 4pm mtg (VS,KBr)
2 Fri (1) 10:30am ph call (PVDW; SL w/ boys; ~J working)
3 Sat SL w/ boys and MG
5 Mon (1) 9:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 2pm Europe call, (3) 5pm mtg/walk (YM)
6 Tue (1) 11:30am lunch (GD) - St. Jacobs, (2) 4pm mtg (AF) - Cambridge, (3) 7:30pm worship night
9 Fri ~J's b'day
10 Sat North Bay trip
13 Tue 11am mtg (DAy) (~J school trip w/ ~Co | text BD)
14 Wed 9:30am time w/ BD
15 Thu 4:30pm video mtg (Paul T.)
16 Fri (1) 9am video med appt, (2) 15-km run (Prayer Journey "warm-up")
17 Sat Prayer Journey (my own: 50km GTA bike-ride; Jessie's: 5KM) and speaking at GTA after-party
23-25 Fri-Sat poss. SL
26 Mon 2pm Europe monthly call
29 ... July 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas

... 7 Thu-Fri poss. holiday in Arkansas
~8-17 SA+ in Toronto; P/H Bell likely visiting too
15 Sat aft+ baptism (Saj; NaB may be coming)
17-21 Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp
24 Mon 2:45pm med. appt
26 Wed (1) 11am video mtg (SM), (2) 3pm Zoom mtg (SMa,SB), (3) 7pm ~J speaking at Greenhouse/Zoe - UofT downtown
27 Thu 10am video MVT board mtg
31 Mon 3:05pm med. appt
July/Aug CCWM board mtg / AGM

2 Wed 11am video mtg (SM+)
6-12 Sun-Fri Cottage w/ O/DN+ and UB/AC - Windermere; plus Muskoka
19 Sat poss. ~J fam beach day - Brighton area
25-29 Fri-Tue MoveIn staff retreat - southern Ontario

Sep 21 Thu - MVT board mtg
Sep 23 Sat poss. date of GV memorial
Sep 24 Sun ~Ch's b'day
Sep ~26-28 Poss. time in Lushnjë, Albania
Sep 29 - Oct 6 MoveIn Europe Conference+ - Durrës, Albania
Oct 21 Sat poss./unlikely date of GV memorial
Oct 21-27 Dollar-a-Day week
Early Nov Poss. fundraising event - Niagara
Nov-Jan Poss. time in India - Goa; Philippines - Manila+; Indonesia - Jakarta/Bali; LA/San Diego