Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

James 2:9

"But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors."

Grace is an awful finicky thing.  The real meaning of it eludes us so easily.  It is right to offer someone grace who is in need of it.  But the minute you verbalize that you are offering grace, you're in sin because it is almost impossible to say, "I'm going to offer you grace" and not come off as superior.  When you offer grace to a poor person you're often in sin because you're showing "reverse partiality."  In order to help out the poor so many shun the wealthy (even though they may be wealthy too).    Some have a tendency to show partiality to people they  "like"... people who are the picture of  those deserving of the gospel.  But in doing that they often end up turning a deaf ear to those Jesus is really leading them to.  

I also don't like sinners and have plenty of judgement stored up in my heart for those who disturb my peace and well-being with their sin.   I, of course, attained perfection some time ago and am, therefore, exempt from the mirror of judgement (**lightning bolt fries Jon**).

So I find that the only way I can offer grace without coming under condemnation myself is to simply DO it, and not talk about it.  If I'm really going to love someone it is no good for me to tell them how I love them and then sit in Panera Bread telling a third person how annoying the first person is to me.  The worst thing, of course, is keeping self-righteousness at bay.  Since I am a more evolved being than all the rest of the population, I've gotten pretty good at offering grace and not talking about it (**rumbles of thunder**), but the final evolution would be if I could do the whole thing (offering grace and not talking about it) unselfconsciously.   Oh... and I would actually BE like Jesus if I could add to that some unselfconscious ACTION, like taking that annoying person out to lunch or really paying attention to a friend who is rattling on with some IM thing they're writing.  But maybe because I'm so fully evolved, just philosophizing about it is enough (**ground opens up and swallows Jon and the Prophets of Baal**)

We're sorry, but Jon is no longer available to write The Morning Watch.  In his own words, he has... evolved... to another... form.  

The Editors

"By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?  And they made his rave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth."  Isaiah 53:8-9

1 comment:

Kim said...

You know - you're really a good writer. :-)