The algebra of Grace

Do me a favour, and go to the live US debt clock which constantly updates a running number as to the debt accumulated by the Federal government:

That’s some scary stuff right there. As at Monday, 22 July 2019 the debt stands over $22 trillion. The guys in Congress seem disinclined to deal with the problem and the clock just keeps on ticking like a quaint gimmick that can tickle the funny bone of a person who has the curiosity to look it up.

According to a gander of, the world’s ultra wealthy are only collectively worth $8.7 which is far below the level of US Federal debt.

Taking the difficult path to settling this debt, or rolling it back ever so incrementally, is not politically on the table, an unsolvable problem created by congressional intransigence combined with the thrill of spending other people’s money.

The math problem isn’t only inherent in scenarios with pure numbers, but with potential numbers as well. Like a debt clock ticking ever further away from a solution, peace in the Middle East hurtles towards greater levels of unsolvability. Numbers rack up: days since the last violent incident, the number of victims on either side, the compounding of incorrigibility in succeeding generations.

Plot social trends on a graph and you will see that Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. have moved so far away from each other that there is barely common ground. Trends in South Africa also present a problem when it comes to statistics for joblessness, social security, and upward mobility.

These are all problems that people with far greater knowledge than me grapple with today, and have for years, decades, sometimes centuries. Simply put, the math doesn’t add up. These are only the problems I know about…there’s a whole six-pack of cans full of worms worth of problems and unresolved questions:

All these problems and questions are actually beyond us. We cannot solve them, which should be a blow to our hubris. I glimpsed an equation in words to a song this Sunday in church, words I had heard often and suddenly saw the algebra of Grace at work: one one side my moral debt, on the other side God’s righteousness and in-between the not-equal sign.

The words: ‘of the grace that is greater than all my sin’.

The symbol for greater-than.

Of the grace that is greater than all my sin…

Grace > my sin. This is an equation that takes place daily and the debt clock is reset to zero. Grace is scandalous (why should He pay it?), breath-taking, load-lifting and frankly, not truly comprehensible.

My sin may not be as bad as some, but it may as well have been $22 trillion. I couldn’t pay it.

Thank heaven for the algebra of Grace.

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