Tacos of Grace

Sermons
Music
Blog

There are many strange dishes on offer at the Religion buffet. Did you know Jedism is now a bona fide religion, thanks to an Internet campaign and Star Wars fans (who would have thought those two could work together?)?

I do few things in life really well, but one of the things I have mastered is eating. Stick me at an inner city food truck line-up and I am as happy as a hipster in skinny jeans.

For some people this environment can be overwhelming, too many options, so many choices. Dancing Deano’sDoughdogs! El Capo Crab n Cheese! Frozen Dumpling Yoghurt! Big Jung’s Southern-style Korean BBQ fish ribs! It is a sad fact that Melbourne now has more food trucks than ambulances.

You could easily sit back and think “Doesn't really matter what I order – it’s all food and any food will satisfy my hunger.&rdquo

It is a lot like that with Religions.

Today you’ll have the Jewish Jam Donut Van parked next to the Islamic Ice Cream truck across from the Hindu Hotdogs and the Buddhist Burger Co, along with the Christian Caravan of Crunch. So many options, all seeming to do things differently but ultimately offering the same thing – access to God.

But what does the Christian menu offer that makes it so different? So crunchy? What is it that keeps the crowds returning over the centuries despite the critics, despite the trends?

Jesus. 

Jesus the man who says:
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”(John 6:35)

Jesus, God’s son sent to live among us on earth, who states:
“…I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)

Jesus who asks:
“…You believe in God. Believe also in me.” (John 14:1)

That last one cuts through for me. Today many people, religious or not, will claim to believe in God. A woman I once spoke to told me: “I believe in God but I also believe in aliens.” She was dressed in aluminium foil and Crocs at the time, which may explain a lot, but like most people she was missing the key ingredient in this dish – the blood red sauce of Jesus.

If I am honest, I don't believe in Religion. By Religion I mean any systematic structure that constantly has me in a debt/payment relationship with God, one that I can never be free from or fully live up to. To me Religion is all about things I need to do to get right with God. It can be an exhausting, boring, difficult, expensive, tasteless, embarrassing and weird task depending on which one you choose to follow. 

I do believe in Jesus though; His life, death and resurrection. I believe Him when He said that He was the Son of God, that He came to forgive and die for my sins and give me life to the full.

Where Religion says getting right with God will take this and cost that, Jesus says, “It took me.”

Romans 5:8 covers it “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

This is the grace of God and it is grace that separates Christianity from all the other world religions… along with those stupid fish stickers, a penchant for flannel shirts and overuse of the word ‘Awesome’.

Grace rolls the whole food van of religion over. Traditionally, Religion says that God doesn't love you until you have atoned or reached enlightenment. Christianity says despite your brokenness, God loves you where you are at, and points to Jesus as proof

As author Jeffersen Bethke writes in his bookJesus>Religion: “God’s grace isn’t nice and cute. It’s scandalous.” Ours is a God not waiting for his people to come to him, but pursuing them despite their rebellion.

I feast on this concept of grace. That it is not about what I do, but what has been done by Jesus that leaves me full, content and right with God. It fills me time and time again.

Friends of mine will sometimes comment “Cool shoes by the way. This Grace stuff sounds great. I like it. But why does it matter? Isn't it just another way to God?” 

It matters because of who offers it, and what He says about His standing with God.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Grace is the main ingredient of Christianity. Grace says no more queuing, no more chasing, no more paying, no more hunger. Eat once and be satisfied.

Who’s hungry?

Author: Lach Ryan
Published: 16 Sep 2014


Latest Posts:

  • Join the Team – Generations Pastor (Melbourne)

    Join the Team –…

  • Join the Team – Women’s Ministry Director (Melbourne)

    Join the Team –…

  • Join the Team – Training Director (Melbourne)

    Join the Team –…

  • Join the Team – City Kids Coordinator (West)

    Join the Team –…

  • Join the Team – City on a Hill Melbourne

    Join the Team –…

  • Join the Team – Services Director (West)

    Join the Team –…

  • Key Themes: Suffering

    Key Themes: Suffering

  • Key Themes: Poverty & Wealth

    Key Themes: Poverty…

  • Key Themes: Now & Tomorrow

    Key Themes: Now &…

  • Key Themes: Wisdom

    Key Themes: Wisdom

  • Key Themes: Faith & Works

    Key Themes: Faith…

  • Opportunity to Serve – Communications Coordinator Melbourne

    Opportunity to Serve…

  • Fasting: A Brief Introduction

    Fasting: A Brief…

  • Unlocking a New Room

    Unlocking a New Room

  • Join the Team – Many Rooms Kitchen Coordinator

    Join the Team –…

  • Opportunity to Serve – City Kids Team Leader

    Opportunity to Serve…

  • On Mission with Milene Tan

    On Mission with Milene…

  • On Mission with Kenneth Webb

    On Mission with Kenneth…

  • On Mission with Debbie Bognar

    On Mission with Debbie…

  • The Structure of Proverbs

    The Structure of…

  • City on a Hill Church Planting Fund

    City on a Hill Church…

  • His Story Our Story – Recap

    His Story Our Story…

  • 3 Tips for Reading Proverbs

    3 Tips for Reading…

  • Join the Team – Research Coordinator

    Join the Team –…

  • Why should we trust the Bible if it gets the origin of life so wrong? – Part III

    Why should we trust…

  • Why should we trust the Bible if it gets the origin of life so wrong? – Part II

    Why should we trust…

  • Why should we trust the Bible if it gets the origin of life so wrong? – Part I

    Why should we trust…

  • Tacos of Grace

    Tacos of Grace

  • City News September

    City News September

  • City News August

    City News August

  • Join the Team – Operations Director

    Join the Team –…

  • Welcome Dave Miers

    Welcome Dave Miers

  • City News July

    City News July

  • On Mission with Paul Distefano

    On Mission with Paul…

  • On Mission with Steve Murray

    On Mission with Steve…

  • On Mission with Rick Jordan

    On Mission with Rick…

  • Welcome Leighton Cantrill

    Welcome Leighton…

  • The Lost Art of Sorrow

    The Lost Art of Sorrow

  • Interview With Sam Wright, Pastor of Redemption Church

    Interview With Sam…

  • The Reality of Suffering and Evil

    The Reality of Suffering…

  • Join the Team – Accounts Coordinator

    Join the Team –…

  • The Attentive Life - Book Review

    The Attentive Life…

  • A Date with the King

    A Date with the King

  • Trusting the Grand Weaver

    Trusting the Grand…

  • City News February

    City News February

  • Songs of Summer II

    Songs of Summer II

  • City News January

    City News January

  • Generous – Quarterly Update

    Generous – Quarterly…

  • City News December

    City News December

  • Join the Team – Community Director

    Join the Team –…

  • Engage 2014

    Engage 2014

  • Planting with PlantED

    Planting with PlantED

  • Join the Team – Video Coordinator

    Join the Team –…

  • Introduction to Promises

    Introduction to Promises

  • Join the Team – XD-Ops

    Join the Team –…

  • City News November

    City News November

  • His Story Our Story – Photo Journal

    His Story Our Story…

  • Kirsty’s Story

    Kirsty’s Story

  • Pete’s Story

    Pete’s Story

  • Amy’s Story

    Amy’s Story

  • Surviving Same Sex Attraction as a Christian

    Surviving Same Sex…

  • Generous Campaign

    Generous Campaign

  • Why Bother With Predestination?

    Why Bother With Predestination?

  • City News October

    City News October

  • This Is (True) Greatness

    This Is (True) Greatness

  • The Call to Mission

    The Call to Mission

  • What About the Warnings?

    What About the Warnings?

  • The Peril of Porn

    The Peril of Porn

  • Dating For The Glory Of God

    Dating For The Glory…

  • City News September 2013

    City News September…

  • Adoption: The Gospel Made Visible

    Adoption: The Gospel…

  • You Knit Me Together

    You Knit Me Together

  • Working For God

    Working For God

  • Australia – The Results Are In

    Australia – The…

  • Thorn in the Flesh

    Thorn in the Flesh

  • Tough Questions

    Tough Questions

  • Good Grief

    Good Grief

  • An Honourable Office

    An Honourable Office

  • City News July 2013

    City News July 2013

  • Faith and Work

    Faith and Work

  • We Are Family

    We Are Family

  • WWJD: Responding To Begging

    WWJD: Responding…

  • Work. Rest. Play - Part II

    Work. Rest. Play…

  • City News - May

    City News - May

  • Salvation Happens To Us, Not By Us

    Salvation Happens…

  • Doves & Snakes

    Doves & Snakes

  • Planting & Pregnancy

    Planting & Pregnancy

  • Lest We Forget

    Lest We Forget

  • Introduction to 1 Peter

    Introduction to 1…

  • Easter 2013 – Photo Journal

    Easter 2013 – Photo…

  • More Than Gold

    More Than Gold

  • Join The Team – Music Director

    Join The Team –…

  • Jessica’s Story

    Jessica’s Story

  • Changes

    Changes

  • Andy’s Story

    Andy’s Story

  • Work. Rest. Play - Part I

    Work. Rest. Play…

  • Join The Team – Biblical Living Pastor

    Join The Team –…

  • Eat, Drink & Be Merry Melbourne!

    Eat, Drink &…

  • City News – March

    City News – March

  • The Affections of Our Hearts & The Idols We Worship II

    The Affections of…