Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminded us that grace is free but not cheap, gratis but not banal, gratuitous but not superfluous. The reformers of the 16th century defined the cost of grace by a single word: repentance. Repentance comes about when “terror strikes the conscience” (Melanchthon).
I knew the tale of Zacchaeus as we’ve all heard it—a short bad man climbs a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus—until I heard Charlie Cook preach on it one Sunday in the mid-’70s. Charlie was a short good man, and one of the most extraordinary pastors I have ever known.
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