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Friday, June 28, 2013

When Grace Turns Karma Upside Down

“You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics; in physical laws every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that ‘as you reap, so you will sow’ stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”
— Bono
We have all done a lot of stupid stuff. We are sinners. Yet God loves us. Nothing can separate us from the love in God, in redeeming us by the Saviour’s love. This ‘love’ defies all our logic.
It is impossible to get our heads around grace.
Grace takes what we can understand as ‘karma’ and turns it upside down, confusing any semblance of civility we might otherwise have. Love becomes a rocket, fuelled exponentially, its flight based on the rules of an unknowable Ruler. It overwhelms logic every time logic gets close to understanding life.
Science is enshrouded in knowledge, yet it’s never nearer to the Source of all knowledge.
The closer we get to thinking we’ve got it all together in life, the closer we get to being very legalistic, and the further we are from actually knowing what life is truly about; that life is about relationship and that God requires us to be just, merciful and humble (Micah 6:8). Grace is about relationship.
Karma is as karma does, perhaps.
We can expect it to work when we see it work, but ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ is a long way from the understanding of how life actually works. It explains some of life, maybe, but it doesn’t explain how an All-Righteous God can forgive a sinning humanity.
The wisdom of God makes humanity’s so-called wisdom a mockery—and without effort. God doesn’t even need to try. Yet, we do try. We are wired to try and discover what it is this life is about; to ‘discover’ God, even if we don’t believe.
But grace just confuses all our logic and effort.
Grace makes a mockery of the concept of karma, simply because the love of God located in the cross of Christ cannot be pigeonholed in anything any human can understand. In grace there is no cause-and-effect. Grace is a higher justice, a higher concept of virtue; the highest and purest love. Love, by fact.
Love, as defined through grace, is incomprehensible.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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