The Problem of Grace

  Paint brushes in a row

We talk a lot about grace at Westside. We see it as the essence of the Christian gospel and we think we are right about that. But with all our confidence in grace, there are times we remain baffled.

What we need is a better imagination, a sensibility more in tune with how God actually works, and with what he actually intends. What we need are stories to teach us grace in the warp and woof of real living. As we now begin our journey toward Easter, we listen to the grace parables of Jesus.

The very idea of grace is a deep challenge to who we really are and what we actually need. One of our favorite teachers on the parables, Robert Farrar Capon, says "it is precisely our sins, and not our goodnesses, that most commend us to the grace of God." In other words, grace assumes the worst of us while it simultaneously intends to make the best of us.

Grace saves us. Here, in the stories of Jesus, we hear his imagination about what is, what could be, and how God continues his gracious work in surprising ways.