I wrote this article for Liberate.org, the website associated with the ministry of Tullian Tchividjian. If it piques your interest, please click on the link below to read the rest of the article. And check out Liberate's website while you're there. Loads of grace-centered resources on those pages.When I was a kid, I roamed the alleys and nearby fields with a pocket full of pebbles and a slingshot in hand. My grandfather had carved me the slingshot from the fork of a mesquite tree, native to our New Mexico soil. I’d even burned my name into the wood using the sun and a magnifying glass. As you might expect, my favorite Sunday School story was David and Goliath. In my make-believe world, I was that boy from Bethlehem, and sparrows the Philistine giants. It felt good to be the hero who takes down the foe. I was but a boy. I was new to the world. I loved Bible stories about saints who conquered.
When I became a man, I roamed the highways and byways of this world with a pocketful of dreams and a degree in my hand. There were ladders to climb, and I climbed them. I carved out a place for myself in this world. I had a bright, secure future. My favorite Bible story remained David and Goliath, for I saw myself in him, conquering this, and overcoming that. I was the boy from Bethlehem, only now a man, and giants were my prey. It felt good to be on top, making my place in the world. I still loved Bible stories about saints who conquered.
You know where this story is going, don’t you? You can feel it in your gut. Who knows, maybe I’m in the middle of telling your story. Let’s make it our story, why don’t we. And let’s tell it like it is.
When I became a man, I became a man like David. Like the David who, instead of going out to war, stayed home and fell prey to lust, to fear, to lies, to murder, to cover-up, and finally to repentance and forgiveness. When I became a man, I became a man like Noah, who planted a vineyard, got wasted, and fell asleep naked as a jaybird. When I became a man, I became a man like Abraham, who lied about his wife and put her life and chastity in danger just to save his own neck. When I became a man, I became a man like Judah the prostitute-user, Aaron the idol-maker, Gideon the doubter, and the list goes on and on. “Show me a hero,” F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “and I’ll write you a tragedy.” Show me a prideful man, I would add, and I’ll write about his downfall.
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What we need in our fragmented world, full of hurting people, is the love of Jesus Christ, who welcomes home sinners with a grace that knows no bounds. My book Christ Alone: Meditations and Sermons, is packed with reflections that go that extra mile of grace. Again and again, they present the Christ who is crucified and risen for you. Please take a moment to check it out here. You may also be interested in my collections of hymns and poetry entitled, The Infant Priest, which you can purchase here. Both books are also available on Amazon, as is my booklet Why Lutherans Sing What They Sing (also on Kindle). Thank you for your prayers and support!