I had a hard time choosing joy the last 8 weeks. Intensive summer Greek is just that: intense. Balancing pastoring, memorizing, homework, and being a human, I found nearly all of my limits in the last 8 weeks. Shout-out to all the incredible people living with me, completing homework with me, loving me, dating me, or attending my church for all of the support you extended to me in this season.
Amidst all of my frustration and anxiety and overwhelmedness, there was one word. One word that made the experience worth it (outside of the great people I got to hang with and the 6 required credits I knocked out in 8 weeks). χαρίζομαι. To give or forgive.
In the text book, there’s a theological definition included for this word, to graciously give.
Of course we talked through the historical context of the times that the scriptures were written and the common usage of the word. It was explained that graciously give is simply a product of Christian theologians way after the fact. We should translate it as to give or forgive.
But I disagree. As someone who benefits day in and day out from grace, I think our giving and our forgiving should be gracious. No matter the time period we’re in or the faith we hold. And in the midst of this broken world with the amazon on fire and the tragedy of the cruelty against immigrant lives on the border and rampant discrimination based on skin color, economic status, country of origin, and sexual orientation, we need grace and we need to be gracious to one another.
So I pray whatever season you find yourself in, you find the spirit of χαρίζομαι. Relish in it for yourself and share it generously with others. For it is up to us to bring the spirit of grace to the world.