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The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

One of the things that marks the Bible out as an unusual and remarkable collection of books (apart from, you know, being the Word of God and all the other theological distinctives) is that it exists in so many translations. In English, for whose native speakers it has been a generally vaunted and valued work for centuries, there are too many translations to easily count. I could look up a rough figure but I know that I’ve got approaching twenty different English translations represented on my shelves and those are far from being a truly specialist source.

One of the more recent examples is Eugene Peterson’s The Message. Unlike most major translations, which are the work of multiple experts, this is the output of one very gifted scholar and pastor. It is not without its detractors and it doesn’t pretend to be a literal translation. However, while the turns of phrase sometimes jilt, they often catch the light in a way that scintillates, such as this short extract from some words of Jesus about rest and trusting in God:

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. (Mt 11:30, Msg)

Unforced movement is graceful. There is something to be learned but the scaffold of learning can get in the way; ultimately the aim is to see what you know to be a good way to live becoming simply something you are. Unforced rhythms of grace and a place where there is internal rest despite whatever troubles may rise up on every side.

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