On Falling Short

As I’ve mentioned before, I like lists.

Lists are neat and tidy.

I like neat and tidy.

A lot.

So this morning as I listen to the commandments given under the old covenant, my mind switches into list mode.

Lists carved by the finger of God onto stone tablets.

I am not new here.

I know that looking back through the lens of the new covenant this list is less about measuring up and more about realizing that we never can.

Oh, but I love the list.

Surely there is merit in the list.

Surely the old covenant’s “do not murder” translates into the new covenant as “be a life-giver” or something inspirational like that, right?

Something to put on the list.

Harder to quantify, but still something to do.

Something to check off.

And yet

Even those of us who are really good at lists, really good at following rules

Fall short.

We struggle and strive and do all the right things and still fall desperately, pathetically short.

And this, I know (again) is the point.

Friends, we are not made for lists.  For rules.

We are made for relationship.

We cannot stand before a holy God in our own competence.

None.  Of.  Us.

When we stand, messy, wild-eyed,

Lists long abandoned or clenched tightly until they are ripped from our grasp.

We stand in a competence, a righteousness, that is not our own.

We stand because of grace.

We stand because of relationship.

We stand because of Christ alone.

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