Yesterday I tried to capture what it looks like to be a Grace Turned Outward Christian. It’s hard to nail down because what makes someone a Grace Turned Outward Christian might not be apparent on the surface. You have to go a little deeper. The following paragraph from the vision and purpose of the Catch is the best explanation I’ve found so far on paper.
The citizens of the Catch are God’s walking, talking people for his plan and action, the Gospel of Welcome (Grace Turned Outward), which is to hone in on this life; to go where God is, which is always with the vulnerable; to repair what is broken and remove the debris of wasted opportunity and lives; to offer to others the same grace and redemption given for our own broken and misguided selves, to participate in God’s rescue efforts and to always introduce the work of Jesus Christ for reconciliation.
If you just read that paragraph once you probably didn’t get it. That’s not to put you down; that’s just to get you to read it again because there is so much there. I didn’t really get it until about the sixth time through.
The key to understanding Grace Turned Outward is the vulnerability — our broken and misguided selves put to work walking alongside others through the debris in their own lives — a sort of spiritual skid row we all find ourselves in if we are honest — taking someone to where we know they can get a hot meal and a warm bed. And heaven, instead of saints coming marching in begins to take on the look of a beggar’s banquet with the astonished guests celebrating their incredible good fortune to the tune of Amazing Grace.
I found out from a caller last night during our BlogTalkRadio interview with Bob Bennett that both Bob and I have “beggar” songs. I think that’s because we are both trying to get at the same thing.
I’m not one who’s got it all in place
Tellin’ you what you should do, no …
I’m just one old hungry beggar
Showing you where I found food. – John Fischer
The key is the vulnerability and need. The key is grace shared. Grace for me (if it’s not apparent right away why I need it, then walk with me a while) and joyfully shared with you. (“Look what I found!”)
Well I’m a beggar
But I know where there’s bread
I’m a beggar
But now I’m so well fed
If you’re hungry
Why will you suffer instead
Won’t you come along
Come along – Bob Bennett