We become like Jesus as we learn to recognize and respond to holy moments.
The idea of grace is so powerful and compelling that it can seem dangerous. What if we throw it around too easily? What if we give people a license to sin? How do we make sure grace is “balanced” by truth? But grace is always lopsided, it’s always scandalous or it isn’t grace. Grace meets us and embraces us long before we “deserve” it. The life of Paul shows us a living color demonstration of the scandalous grace of Jesus. “Knocked flat on the ground on the way to Damascus, Paul never recovered from the impact of grace: the word appears no later than the second sentence in any of his letters.” (Phillip Yancey).
Beauty, mystery and wonder. All three of them go together. We wonder at things that are beautiful and mysterious. Children most often find themselves in a state of wonder because everything is a new journey into beauty and mystery. The greatest wonder of all is the Incarnation. Gazing on the Word made flesh keeps the gospel beautiful.
In exile, identity is challenged and alliegence is divided. There was conflict in the Jewish community in Babylonian exile. Some wanted to hear Jeremiah’s call for a peace ethic in Babylon, but others wanted to hear Hananiah’s call to a resistance ethic. Should Israel just accept their fate as an exiled and broken nation and absorb completely into Babylon? Or should they resist their overlords and actively work to undermine Babylon? Or should they do something in between?
The natural condition of life for human beings is one of reciprocal rootedness in others. As firmness of footing is a condition of walking and secure movement, so assurance of others being for us is the condition of stable, healthy living. There are many ways this can be present in individual cases, but it must be there. If it is not, we are but walking wounded, our life more or less a shambles until we die.
What we think is very much a matter of what we wish and seek to think, and what we feel is very much a matter of what we wish and seek to feel. In short, the condition of our mind is very much a matter of the direction in which our will is set.