(005) Vine39- The Bread of Salvation

  • We practice an open table policy. It is the act of hospitality. Is this sentimentality, of dumbing things down, of taking the edge out of the gospel in order to get more people to buy into it? Well, it’s exactly the opposite. Shocker: It is easier to do the faith that tells you how bad you are, that God is good, and that you need to be better. It is easy to do the faith that has lots of rules, where the preacher tells it like it is and calls sin, sin. Why? Because that speaks to our ego. We want to be given the rules or hoops to jump through in order to feel better than the next person. It is often hidden behind the words of a sermon that go something like this. “You are bad” or, “there is something you need to fix”. Almost all of them end with something you can do to regain control.
  • The other kind is returning the right edge to the gospel. You are all welcomed to the table but, you must face a God that appears weak. That forgives rather than takes vengeance. You will walk into a love where your performance doesn’t get you anywhere, where your rightness, your perfectionism doesn’t move you ahead of anyone, where your profound insight, your answers to every question, doesn’t get God to change. You cannot manipulate this host of the meal. Instead, you will be invited to come into a light that exposes who you truly are, what you believe, who you hate, what you lust for. It will expose your bitterness, your ugliness, the evil things you have thought and done. What’s worse, you can’t grovel, beg, or make any promises to do better. You can’t find someone worse to stand next to, to compare to, to make yourself feel better. You can only sit at the meal. Many will come to this dinner having rehearsed in their minds the excuses they know will work. Many work at remembering all the good they have done. Others will list off all their sins in hopes to demonstrate how are truly they are remorseful. None of these work with Him. Then the host pauses. He reaches for the loaf in the middle of the table and begins to break it. His terms are simply this. Will you eat of his broken body or do you want a God that never suffers, is never broken, never loses? Will you enter into my brokenness so that you can see your own? For, it is here as you lose yourself, you are found in his love. It is here that you are fully accepted by God to begin the wonderful journey of transformation. Will you accept his love on his terms rather than yours?
  • This is what Salvation looks like.