Depth Of Grace - Edge Of Unforgiveness (9AM)
My dear Mother-in-Law was not a fan of edges. When you combined edges with speed, height, or both, things got interesting.
When Kathaleen and I were first married we lived in New Jersey. I was in graduate school. Kathaleen’s mom, from Las Vegas, flew out to take a training course at Harvard and she extended her visit to stop by and see us. Kathaleen was working and so I drove the hour south to Philly International to pick her up. It was summer, the sun was out, and so before I left for the airport, I took the doors and the top off the Jeep. It was a glorious drive down I-95. I arrived at the terminal, found her, loaded her stuff into the back of the Jeep, she climbed in. We were 15 minutes into our return journey, driving 65 on the freeway, my left leg dangling out the driver’s side door, when I realized, she had stopped talking. I looked over and it was clear she was petrified. Both of her hands were clamped onto the grab bar in front of her. She was not enjoying the wind through her hair, or the sun on her face. For the next 30 minutes she didn’t say much, did not laugh at my jokes, her expression did not change. Things got better when I slowed down and turned onto surface roads. But honestly, it wasn’t until we stopped, she pried her fingers from the grab bar, and she exited the Jeep, that she began to breathe again. I learned then and there that she was no fan of edges. I’m pretty sure, being the good and loving Son-in-Law I am, that I put the doors and top back on before our return trip to the airport (actually I’m hoping that’s what I did … not completely sure).
Our passage from Luke this morning is terrifying. It is the one place where we come right to the edge of unforgiveness. We are warned here not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. How horrible to be eternally beyond the forgiveness of God. That is a place no one who understands what lies on the other side of death wants to be. Is this something that I could do by accident, one moment unintentionally saying something, doing something, blaspheming, and falling off the edge into eternal unforgiveness? Much better to put the doors back on and stay well clear of the edge.
But then again, even with this dire warning, we need to hear the expanse of God’s grace and mercy. He is warning us here because He loves us. Stand clear of the edge!