Between the manger and the cross, Jesus walked a tightrope – a tenuous balance between
God’s truth and God’s love, between religious leaders who could not see their hypocrisy and
people who could not see their sin or their hope. And as He walked, Jesus engaged them both
yet never lost His balance, never compromised truth or love. To Nicodemus, the Pharisee, He
spoke of compassion. To Zacchaeus, the tax collector, he offered redemption. As He knelt by
the woman caught in adultery, He dared anyone without sin to cast the first stone. Though He
could have thrown that first stone, He declined to do so, telling her “go and sin no more.” And
to each of them he brought a change of heart and a balance of soul.
A politician once joked that there are two things you never want to see being made – laws and
sausage. Both are often the result of a process that is messy, disturbing and rarely the ideal that
we desire. So it is with our Christian life and our struggle with God’s grace. Those who choose
to follow Christ follow Him along a tightrope between self-righteousness and self-destruction.
And the fall is just as great in either direction. And fall we will. But no matter how often or how
far we fall, God’s grace is the net that catches us, restores our balance, and puts us back on that
narrow, messy path.