“You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know… Do not seek for anything; do not perform anything; do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted!” – Paul Tillich
It’s amazing how difficult it is for us to grasp this concept. One could argue that the entire mission of Jesus was to bring an awareness of this divine position, this eternal grace.
And yet, we have turned it into a game of rituals, sacraments, and theological tenets of faith in order to gain access to this thing we call grace. But, if you define grace as an unwarranted, unearned acceptance by that which is greater than you (some would use the vocabulary God), then it is illogical to ever believe it must be earned.
When Jesus met the woman at the well, did he condemn her for having multiple husbands? When Mary the prostitute was brought before him, did he tell her to recite the “sinner’s prayer”? No. Each time he approached the situation with an understanding of the grace we all exist in and Jesus made it his life mission to bring this grace into the forefront of his followers lives.
This isn’t cheap or easy grace. Far from it.
When something is received due to the hard work you have put into it, it is easy to accept an award for it.
If you ask to receive something there is no difficulty in receiving it.
But, when something is given completely to you that you have not earned, that you have not worked for, that you haven’t even asked for, then accepting this thing can be one of the hardest things you ever do, perhaps impossible for some.
This grace is difficult.
This grace led Jesus to his own crucifixion.
But… This grace is AMAZING.
It is free. It is unmerited. It is a state of being. We need only to become aware of it and live into the beauty it offers.
The brilliance and glory of the Jesus story is experienced when we realize the resurrection is not simply a one time event but an event that occurs within us continually. To accept acceptance, to receive grace we must die continually to false standards and preconceived notions of unworthiness.
Accept the fact that you are accepted.
Let amazing grace be amazing.