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Religion Letter: Thank you, Rachel Maddow

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Posted: Friday, July 3, 2015 11:25 pm

On Ms Maddow’s show, “The Rachel Maddow Show,” following President Obama’s eulogy, Ms. Maddow made a heart felt plea to her viewers to stayed tuned. Ms. Maddow was clearly moved. In her set up for the tape Ms. Maddow summarized recent historic decisions by the Supreme Court. Ms. Maddow introduce the tape of the President’s eulogy with the title “Amazing Grace.”

The President’s words were eloquent and stirring. First about the pastor of Mother Emanuel Church and then idea of Grace; “This whole week I’ve been reflecting on this idea of grace,” he said. He laid emphasis on ... “I was blind, but now I see. I was lost but now am found. ... for to long we have been blind to the pain the confederate flags stirs in many of our citizens ... we’ve been lost in our fear of each other ... By taking down the flag we express God’s grace, but I don’t think He wants us to stop there ... By making a moral choice to change we express God’s grace.”

Listening to the President’s words, I drifted to the words of another man, who shaped my young life of faith, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In “Cost of Discipleship” he wrote regarding “cheap grace” and “costly grace.”

Cheap grace is grace we bestow on ourselves without questions or limits. Let the Christian model his life on the worldly standards in every sphere, not aspiring to a different life under grace.

Costly grace is the good news that must be sought again, and again, the gift that must be asked for. It’s costly because it condemns the transgression and grace because if justifies the transgressor.

Tuning into Ms. Maddow’s following show, in progress, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful newborn baby before a commercial break. I hit the record button to capture repeat show to get context. Could she be highlighting another blind spot in our culture? She was not. The newborn was a picture of a beautiful soul brought into this world by a member of her staff, not the photo that is missing from many family photo albums, as a result of another historic Supreme Court decision. One can hope that the President’s words and “costly grace” will prevail. Thank you for your highlighting of “Amazing Grace,” Ms. Maddow.

Terry Jorgensen