Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Les Mis for Lent take two

As we continue to let the music of Les Mis guide us and ground us in this week before Palm Sunday, we turn back to the theological question of law and grace.  In some ways it is a false choice to think it has to be either/or...rather than the all embracing both/and for so much of life.  I want you to listen to this solo Inspector Javert sings about stars being a witness to his goodness.  Listen for the ways his certainty blinds him and his black/white ~ either/or thinking causes him to stumble and struggle to see that change might be possible.


This passionate and poignant performance is masterful.  His singing brings to light the power of Javert's position.  Javert believes he is so right that Valjean can never be right. 

That speaks...sings...into our position today.  We have too many people - on many sides of the issues - that would shout about the stars being their witness to their own rightness.  People who can't see their own need for grace and God's love.  Or people who think that grace can be earned by doing more, trying harder, or pleasing God.  When you worship an angry God...you are never going to feel good enough or correct enough...plus you will always look for someone who is worse off than you (those people) so that maybe God will focus wrath on them instead (witness people condemning others based on sexual orientation or voting patterns or belief). 

Christ did not come to show us a God who was angry or to appease God.  Christ came to reveal God in God's fullness and love...that we would abide in God.  Yet, such a truth is too difficult in a world where we are always trying to earn something...so we turn our relationship with God into a transaction or a tit-for-tat contract because that just feels more natural and normal.  So, listen again, only now can you hear the stars singing back, "Grace is always unearned/ unconditional/ unceasing... that is why it is called grace."

May there be more than a trace of such grace this week for you.

Blessings ~~

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