June 24, 2009

The best thing that could ever happen to anyone in this room, the best thing, is that your sin would be literally exposed on the five o’clock news.  Your deepest, darkest, most embarrassing sin.  The one you work the hardest to hide would be broadcast on the five o’clock news.  Best thing that could ever happen to you, best thing that could ever happen to me.  -Derek Webb, The House Show 2004

I think I might be starting to believe this.  For years now I feel like I just haven’t known what to do with this.  “Exposed?  Known?  Ugh.  Isn’t that what small/accountability groups are for?  So we can confine our shame to one small group?”

This past week I heard about a nine lesson small group study called The Gospel Centered Life from the people over at Coram Deo.  Besides having my perception of Nebraska reshaped (“Can anything good come out of Omaha?”), I also discovered some great truths (with pictures!) that get to the heart of my resistance to Derek’s challenge above.

At conversion my perception of Christ was small.  As I have grown in Christ the gulf between God and I has grown larger as I have come to know both my sinfulness and God’s greatness more deeply, leading me more deeply into my need for Christ’s work in me.  Many times my response has been like the first picture.

Little Jesus

During these times of life, when the sufficiency of Jesus’ work has failed to keep pace with my perception of my need for his work, I have found myself feeling as though I must seek something beyond Jesus to help bridge the rest of the gap.  More Bible study, more white-knuckled behavior modification, more service, more masks, more politicking, more fig leaves, all at the expense of knowing a Christ who is sufficient for my justification.

Growing Jesus

Taking Jesus at his word, and really believing Jesus to be enough, I find that my growing understanding drives me to continual renewal and rediscovery of the Christ who is and will always continue to grow as I apprehend both myself and God in new and greater ways, again leading back to the original place of thankfully and joy that he has saved me!  I don’t have to work, I don’t have to add on and there aren’t any more hidden depths beyond Christ.  All the richness and fullness is already present in him!  How refreshing!

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Elliot, “Little Gidding”


One Response to “Renewed”

  1. Mom Says:

    a good word, Joey.

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