Gentle & Lowly Book Club - Session 1

Welcome to Book Club #7!  

In four sessions, we'll be comparing notes
and sharing our hearts as we page through
Gentle and Lowly: the Heart of Christ
for Sinners and Sufferers
by Dane Ortlund.

Here's four short passages that have hit home for me in chapters 1 - 6.  Grab your book and let's talk.  Don't be shy ... jump right on in!

His yoke is kind and his burden is light.  That is, his yoke is a nonyoke, and his burden is a nonburden. What helium does to a balloon, Jesus' yoke does to his followers.  We are buoyed along in life by his endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness.  He doesn't simply meet us at our place of need; he lives in our place of need.  He never tires of sweeping us into his tender embrace.  It is his very heart.  It is what gets him out of bed in the morning. {23}

Our tendency is to feel intuitively that the more difficult life gets, the more alone we are.  As we sink further into pain, we sink further into felt isolation.  The Bible corrects us.  Our pain never outstrips what he himself shares in.  We are never alone.  That sorrow that feels so isolating, so unique, was endured by him in the past and is now shouldered by him in the present. {48}

When we sin, we are encouraged to bring our mess to Jesus because he will know just how to receive us.  He doesn't handle us roughly.  He doesn't scowl and scold.  He doesn't lash out, the way many of our parents did.  And all this restraint on his part is not because he has a diluted view of our sinfulness.  He knows our sinfulness far more deeply than we do.  Indeed, we are aware of just the tip of the iceberg of our depravity, even in our most searching moments of self-knowledge.  His restraint simply flows from his tender heart for his people ... rather than dispensing grace to us from on high, he gets down with us, he puts his arm around us, he deals with us in the way that is just what we need. {54-55}

Perhaps it isn't sins so much as sufferings that cause some of us to question the perseverance of the heart of Christ.  As pain piles up, as numbness takes over, as the months go by, at some point the conclusion seems obvious: we have been cast out.  Surely this is not what life would feel like for one who has been buried in the heart of a gentle and lowly Savior?  But Jesus does not say that those with pain-free lives are never cast out.  He says those who come to him are never cast out.  It is not what life brings to us but to whom we belong that determines Christ's heart of love for us. {64-65}

Our 4 week Book Club continues next Sunday as we focus on chapters 7 - 12.  It's not too late to get your own personal copy of Gentle & Lowly 



May you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever!  Amen.
1 Peter 3:18

visiting with