For the last few months, I’ve been contemplating a grace-phrase found in one of my favorite passages in The Message. I think it was this phrase that actually sparked my desire to read through this version of the Bible this year. Matthew 11:28-30 in The Message states this:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
I love many of the phrases found here but my mind has been wrapped around learning “the unforced rhythms of grace.”
I have been asking God for quite some time what unforced rhythms of grace look like, sound like, feel like. Wouldn’t you like to know? Do you?
Imagine my surprise when I received a postcard in the mail advertising a retreat I go on each year with this exact verse as its theme this year.
Then yesterday I received an email with 2 Corinthians 4:16 in it. Remember, we talked about “unfolding grace” yesterday? If you read the whole chapter, you’ll see unfolding grace in “clay pots” or ordinary people. Ordinary. People.
Hold that thought.
In Matthew 11:25-26 Jesus says that God reveals clearly His ways to “ordinary people.” Jesus even follows that with, “Yes, Father that’s the way you like to work.” (v.26)
Ordinary people who possess unfolding grace. Ordinary people who are learning unforced rhythms of grace.
Let me explain how ordinary I am. When I hear of unfolding grace, I naturally think of laundry. Every.single.day I do several loads of laundry. I wash clothes, I fold them and I put them away until I need them. At which point, I unfold them and use them.
So unfolding grace, to me, means using or preparing to use or wear. I want unfolding grace as part of my outfit each day. I want unfolded grace to be something I use each morning.
Let’s talk about unforced rhythms. Unforced rhythms probably flow freely like an involuntary foot-tap to a really catchy song.
Of the ordinary, I’m the most. I know many of you can identify.
Wouldn’t you like to see a collective foot-tapping among all your fellow ordinaries to the beautiful, melodious unforced rhythms of our God’s great and amazing grace in our lives?
I’ll be looking and listening for it.