Last night I was finishing up in the kitchen and I knew that thing I had been putting off could be put off no longer. I had to mop the floor. Lately, all the rage has been a Swiffer wet jet. I have used it many times myself. You know what that is – the bottle that squirts the liquid and the disposable pads that you use to scrub the floor. The thing about the wet jet is when you have spilled something that gets sticky on the floor, you really have to apply pressure. Sometimes I am afraid to push any harder for fear of breaking the wet jet in half.
I knew what this job called for. It called for a mop; and not just any mop, but a big old heavy mop. And a bucket of water with some soapy lemon cleaner. I would be willing to bet there are a great number of young people who have never used a mop and a bucket of water. I learned to use them when I was 13. As a matter of fact, I had the mop snatched from my hand by my grandmother who said something to the effect of, “Give me that mop. If you are going to do something, then do it right.” She proceeded to mop and all I could do was step out of the way.
Just as mops and buckets of water have been replaced by the convenience of Swiffer wet jets, Christianity has been replaced by a convenient, less demanding false religion. And boy-howdy, do the people love it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer called what we are witnessing “cheap grace”. He wrote:
Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods…
Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.
Above all, it is costly because it costs God the life of His Son: “ye were bought at a price,” and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon His Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered Him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.