Saturday, February 16, 2013

Paul Zahl on Grace

"I compare the feeling of horror I had then with the feeling of elation I had on first seeing the ending of Intolerance (1916). At the end of D. W. Griffith’s epic film, Christ comes again to the world. The effect is created by an optical superimposition. What the inspired director shows is a prison teeming with convicts, all dressed in prison stripes. They look up and the prison walls start to fall. They emerge, every one of them, into the absolving light of the one releasing God. The release is total. I don’t
think the image — and it is the last image of the movie — is intended metaphorically. Another quick frame in the montage shows men fighting on a battlefield, their long bayonets skewering each other with brutal relish. Overhead, the brightly lit cross of the Second Coming suddenly appears and they drop their weapons. There is no “peace process” here. It is finally all over."
               - Paul Zahl in Grace in Practice

When Christ returns, those in prison, actual human prisons, will be set free.  They will go on to eternal life or destruction.  So it will also be with us who have made our "free" world a "prison" for ourselves.  Why won't we accept Christ's offer to be set free now.   

Luke 4
He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

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