From the chair and the desk:
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
“Canon Hay Aitken suggested that the two comings of Christ are like ‘two windows … in the School of Grace’. Through the western window a solemn light streams from Mt. Calvary. Through the eastern window shines the light of sunrising, the herald of a brighter day. ‘Thus the School of Grace is well lighted; but we cannot afford to do without the light from either West or East.’”
-John Stott, The Message of 1 Timothy and Titus, Titus 2:13-14, quoting Canon Hay Aitken, The School of Grace, p.253-254
Sometimes Scripture starts with what we should do, sometimes it starts with what God has done, but the two always eventually come together. We can only serve God because Jesus Christ has redeemed us. We can only walk with God because Jesus Christ has reconciled us.
I’m struck by how Aitken puts it here, the grace of the past and the glory of future shine through opposite windows in the school of grace, both allow us to learn from grace, to put on the image of Christ in the present. As Stott later reminds us, “Christ had died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.” Therefore, we not only must but we also delight to learn to be God’s people, his own possession, zealous for good works.
“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.