Psalm 8 – Grace not Grief

what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?

Psalm 8:4, New Living Translation

There’s nothing quite like being put in your place is there? In the last post I reflected on needing to stop trying to be gods and let God be in charge. And here we are now, in our right place, recognising that the creator, of everything around us from the stones and dust on the ground up to the furthest stars and everything in between, cares about us! Not only does he care about us, but later in the psalm we’re reminded that he gave us charge of everything, everything is under our authority.

I remember discovering the Cycle of Grace and the Cycle of Grief devised by Frank Lake and Emil Brunner based on Jesus’ life. My old youth pastor first told me about this and it was brought to my attention again at Bible college a few years later. Our normal pattern is in the Cycle of Grief. In the diagram below this starts on the left hand side with Achievement. You’re only as good as your last job, what you do defines who you are. We end up with workaholics, stressed out because they aren’t achieving as much as they used to and therefore their acceptance, sustenance and status feel smaller. Yet when we live in the Cycle of Grace (God’s cycle) which whilst based on Jesus’ life, there are very strong links to scripture in Ephesians 2 as well. We start instead at acceptance – we are accepted by God as his children and we’re raised to life in Jesus, we’re sustained by Him and have status as his child – before we do anything! We’re not even capable of doing that as we see so often when we try to do it out own way instead. We’re then in a position to keep on trying and achieving (we’ll still get it wrong sometimes, but that’s okay as long as we try) without the risk of losing everything else. Ephesians 2 says that “we are God’s masterpiece, he has created us to anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (New Living Translation).

Cycle of Grace and the Cycle of Grief devised by Frank Lake and Emil Brunner. Graphic created by Andy Hood.

Prayer

Dear God thank you that you accept us, sustain us and give us status as your children. Send us out to do the good things you have planned for us. Amen.

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