It's always a deep blessing to be joined and taught by our brother, Gideon Tsang. Gideon shared a message on the ways we cling to judgement and keeping score, and in doing so, forget the very nature of Jesus' definitive act of reconciling love for all people, and our call back to the table which serves to remind us. Gideon serves in the leadership of Vox Veniae in Austin.
2 Corinthians 5: 18-21
“Success and failure, ultimately, have little to do with living the gospel. Jesus just stood with the outcasts until they were welcomed or until he was crucified - whichever came first.”
“That Jesus died for our sins, or bore our sins, is the exact truth. And it is made comprehensible precisely because the one who was considered guilty was shown to be entirely innocent. Our difficulty with the language is that it is much easier for us to imagine Jesus being offered to the Father as a sacrifice, or indeed the Father getting Jesus to offer himself as a sacrifice to the Father, than to imagine the exact reverse: Jesus being empowered by the Father to stand in the place of a typical sacrificial victim of ours – God sacrificing himself to us."
"The idea of someone doing something generous for us which undoes our complicity in lies and violence while itself being a completely nonviolent act takes a lot of getting used to.... Once you see it, it’s everywhere. How about “They hated me without cause” or “The stone the builders have rejected has become the cornerstone.” The entire passion narrative is an account of a traditional lynching with its meaning turned inside out: it’s a lynching from the perspective of the innocent one."
“Behold the One beholding you and smiling.” It is precisely because we have such an overactive disapproval gland ourselves that we tend to create God in our own image. It is truly hard for us to see the truth that disapproval does not seem to be part of God’s DNA. God is just too busy loving us to have any time left for disappointment.”
Jesus' triumph was in laying down his life. In losing. Consider engaging in the spiritual practice of losing at something this week. How might that experience begin to undo our obsessive ways of counting or winning?
What do you attempt to place on the "scale" in exchange for the worthiness that God offers freely? (Morality, achievement, theology/knowledge...)
Searching your heart; what are the circumstances, surroundings, or relationships in which you are prone to keep score, count sins, and scapegoat others? Within your circles of affinity, who/what are the unifying scapegoats? How can we be better ambassadors of a God who isn't counting?
If and when you struggle with unworthiness this week, remember and reflect upon these words: God is just too busy loving us to have any time left for disappointment. Behold the One beholding you and smiling.
Tis So Sweet
10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Wood And Nails
Be Still My Soul (Psalm 131)