Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘whodunit’

In the Courtroom

judge's gavelMysteries and detective stories have always intrigued me since childhood when I read every Nancy Drew (and yes, even Hardy Boys) book I could lay my hands on.  Recently I’ve watched a few reruns of Perry Mason, where the suspense of the courtroom pervades.  There’s always the all-powerful judge. And the heartless prosecutor and the very wise defense attorney. I don’t remember seeing a jury in these scenes, but that would be unnecessary because the case is always thrown out as soon as the real criminal is revealed.  And the innocent accused goes free. 

How is this like God’s courtroom where He presides as judge of all mankind?    There He is, the absolutely just—and yet compassionate—judge.  There is Satan, the heartless and vicious prosecutor.  There is Jesus—my attorney, my defender.  No jury needed.  And there I am, already convicted, no contest.  I am guilty and everyone knows it (Romans 3:23).  All that remains is the sentencing.  Satan pushes for the death sentence, which is what I really deserve (Romans 6:23).  But my Defense Attorney rises, shows His hands and feet, and declares that the death sentence has already been executed.  The righteous Judge then grants me a full pardon and I am free! 

Then what do I do?  Go my merry way and return to the behavior that got me into trouble in the first place?  No way!  Instead, like the blind man that Jesus healed, I get up and follow Him!  (Luke 18:43)  My life is no longer mine.  Jesus has bought it with his own blood, and now I am His! 

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  (Romans 12:1-2)

Sublime Mystery

Since before I discovered Nancy Drew, I have loved mysteries.  A good “whodunit” intrigues me, though I can’t keep all the details of the plot straight enough to figure it out on my own. If it’s Agatha Christie, I just figure that the most unlikely party is actually the culprit.  And I’m happy to let the author reveal it all in the end.

I think the thing I love most about Christmas is the mystery of it.  How God could actually become human, born as an ordinary baby to normal people, slipping incognito into our world under cover of night in a most unlikely place, recognized only by those in whose ear God whispered the secret.  Or blasted it from an angel choir. 

And I wait with bated breath to see how the Author will work out His perfect plot in the end.  Showing all the world what is really Truth.  Defeating His enemies. Rescuing His beloved ones.  Reigning in glory on His throne forever—perfectly righteous, powerful, loving, wise and majestic—forever and ever!   

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

       This, this is Christ the King,
       Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
       Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
       The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

       Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
       The cross be borne for me, for you.
       Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
       The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

       Raise, raise the song on high,
       The virgin sings her lullaby.
       Joy, joy for Christ is born,
       The Babe, the Son of Mary.

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