Thursday, February 12, 2009
This morning I hit the trails with Scout (my shelter-mutt), and just about every part of my body froze. It was oddly beautiful, however, this frosty winter morn, listening to inspiring songs of praise to our vast, creative God, and I forgot my discomfort almost entirely (or simply became numb, I couldn’t tell which).
As I crested a large hill, I ran beside some wide open horse meadows, and suddenly I could see the whole of Seattle in the distance. Downtown standing official and industrious, an emerald skyline, with the Space needle off by itself looking smallish, and rather left out of the party.
And the image that came to my mind was one used by my friend Judd to describe the city he lives in and loves, Las Vegas. Instead of Sin City, Judd refers to Vegas as Grace City. The biblical truth being thus: where sin abounds, grace abounds more. Since most of my body experiencing some form of frostbite at this moment, this image of God’s grace was entirely unexpected.
With the whole of the city spread out before me, I found my heart filled with a crazy love for Seattle, a kind of holistic, Daddy-loves-his-kiddos, emotionally charged love for the people of the most beautiful city I know. And it made me remember again that Jesus loves Seattle. He loves it all. He loves you, Freemont! He loves you, Downtown! He loves you, Kent! He loves you, Mill Creek! He even loves you, Renton! Not only does He love it all, but Jesus came for Seattle.
And as a Pastor, I want to make sure that my ministry is motivated by the same love that Jesus has. Of course, there is sin…it abounds in this fallen city, certainly. But that’s not the final word, nor the amazing part of the story. The final word is grace. The amazing part of the story is that the unlovely is offered unfailing love by a God who is unlimited love.
Today I stand knee-deep in grace.
Today I pray God’s grace on a beautiful city in desperate need of it.
Today I pray grace for you as well.
May His grace find you in an unexpected moment, and may He receive your praise for it.