Today’s Bible reading

Now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. — Colossians 1:22

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. — Romans 6:11-14

You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. — John 15:3-4

More thoughts for meditation

The apostle Paul wrote those first two passages in a law-based society like ours, where the lens of law can divide people’s thinking into binary categories like good and bad and label everything accordingly.

The gospel of Jesus is a radical expansion from this narrow way of judgment. God has a much fuller way of knowing and being known. It starts with grace and ends with grace, like Andrew’s song goes: grace over grace out of You overflowing. It looks like acceptance over rejection. It looks like patience and hospitality in real time. It looks like Jesus’s outstretched arms on the cross. It looks like knowing that we’re on the journey to resurrection, and things aren’t all finished yet. It looks like making space to learn to see ourselves as God sees us: without blemish and free from accusation. The law constricts like anxiety; grace makes space for something new to grow into wholeness and maturity. Grace invites an embodied flow of service, participation, and expression.

Grace is always available. It’s who we are, alive in Christ! But the way to experience it is to keep offering ourselves to God. This turning to Christ shields us from the accusations of our own hearts. We are already clean by the Word he has spoken to us — his own self! But turning toward him again and again and again helps us know and LIVE from our firm standing in body, mind, and spirit.

Suggestions for action

Listen to First, the Word on our music table to help you center in on the truth about you and God. Then pray:

Grace over grace out of you overflowing

Join in our body and make it your home.

Plan to be in our at-home Sunday meeting today, to help make our whole Body a grace-filled home! Receive the gift of Jesus in the communion meal.