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Thursday, July 7, 2011

galatians and casey anthony's smile

my view from community group as I had to swallow hard a few times
from galatians 1 
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

All guilt and speculation and frustration aside, I've heard so much said about Casey Anthony's face. People broken over her smiles and easy going nature. 
And yes, it creeps me out too. 

And then I think of myself. How on Sunday mornings, I wake usually with a thought of what I'll wear. And try on three outfits, and I've even shed a tear before if ones doesn't look just right. If I don't have time for my biweekly shower & hair doing, I'm all flustered and indignant. And I want coffee on the way there and I want to get there early to catch up with some girls. I've been known to check my email during the sermon and sip said Starbucks during worship. And when it's all said and done, I'm more worried about my kids running around like wild banshees than I am about what just transpired in my heart, if anything. And that's just Sunday, the day designated to celebrate my pardon with the family, what about everyday? 

Do ya'll know what I've been pardoned from? I've thought things, done things, said things so much worse than you'd ever ascribe to me or imagine me doing. Things that would make you blush or cry and you'd ask me to just keep them to myself if I tried to confess them. And if the book of Matthew is right, I've done as worse as Casey or whoever it was that killed her sweet daughter. I've had murderous thoughts, therefore I've done murderous things. And worse, I wasn't JUST pardoned - I didn't just get off the hook. 
I know who took the blame. 

The gospel says that the bad news is that there is literally no way I can be "not guilty". From birth, I'm sinful. I want what I want, I want to survive, to take care of me, me, me, me. I am selfish, lazy, angry, self entitled, murderous, slanderous, did I mention angry, awful. Every sinfulness I can think of. I'm all those things. But the good news, sometimes ack! it doesn't feel so good. The good news, (swallow hard) is that knowing the fullness (more than I even know) of my sinfulness, Jesus died for me. So that I can have a relationship with the Father. So that there can be justice. 

We cry, cry, cry for justice. But it's hard to look at Him on the cross imparting justice for us, and imputing righteousness to us. The only one in the room not guilty. The only one in the universe not guilty. Taking the guilt. 

So it seems silly to scowl at Casey's smile each time I see it on the news, when I see the goofy, irreverent, lazy, greasy way I respond to the grace of Jesus Christ. 
On Sunday. Today. Always. 

Foolish galatians Jessi! Who did all this? Who built this life? Your works? Your vain attempts at righteousness? No, the faith He gave, imparted, by His own grace. I didn't build any of this, I have no defense. I'm declared guilty before the trial starts and declared free, by substitution of the punishment recipient, before I ever even sin. 

Father, help me to stop crying for justice and start repenting, praising You because You invented justice. Wrote it, lost Your son for it. Are it. 
And if I smile, let it be with reverent, 
sorrowful, honest joy at Your great love. 
With incomplete and intense gratefulness for Your Son. 

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