Good old words that the Church uses no longer carry a deep meaning in our time and culture. Grace, justification, sanctification, love of God and even church ring hollow.

Grace is some words some people say before eating some food.
Justification refers to the formatting of a page as to how the text is aligned to the margins.
Sanctification is just gone.
Love of God has become watered down with love for pickles, of a singing group, or a book.
Church no longer refers to the people of God everywhere, but is a label on a building: concerts are held at First Methodist Church; people refer to their congregation as “my church”.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????So I was looking for what words can replace these, which would have the force of meaning for people around me.

As usual, God had other ideas. Why look for theological terms or words? Why rest in the semantics of philosophy?

The question became, “What do these things look like in my life?”

Grace is looking out the window with Jesus and becoming breathless at the overwhelming compassion of presence.

Justification is the tears that well up in my eyes when I think of how Jesus looked beyond my faults, loved me deeply, and then took me in divine hands and held me while the weight of all my sin evaporated from off of my shoulders.

AwesomeGODSanctification is the word to label my open-eyed wonder when I realize that Paraclete helped me say no to a temptation that last week I gave in to, and the increased sense of closeness to Christ that follows and another scale falling from my eyes to get another small glimpse of the perfect will of God unfolding somehow.

Love is my weak knees that could barely keep standing on our wedding day, when I saw Margaret walking down the grassy, outdoor aisle and I knew we would be together, but how did I deserve this angel approaching me? God’s love for me sweeps, without warning or cause, like a gentle wave of unutterable joy that takes all my strength away as I sit in the dark, and I feel like I am in swaddling clothes being hugged by Jesus, with Paraclete singing a lullaby that totally encompasses me.

Church is meeting friends of faith for the first time in years and engaging in companionship as though no time had passed. Church is the delight in hearing the undiluted Gospel preached by the Basilian Roman Catholic priest during Holy Week services. Church is the small group meeting in a home which draws people of differing labels, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Baptist, and United, who discuss Jesus rather than denomination.

Living life in Christ, not thinking words, is where it’s at!

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