We live in a Graceless world. It is a world where the first are first and the last are last. And so it should be. It seems so sensible and rational and logical. If we score 95 in an examination and are given a fail we will take it to a tribunal and fight for justice. The first should be first! The cool are affirmed and accepted. The beautiful are sought after. The talented go far. If you are none of these things then, what are you expecting? A nerd fronting the world’s best rock band! Two left feet replacing Sergio Aguero in the Manchester City attack! A failure at GCSE getting accepted for a post grad in nuclear physics at Oxford! Come on! No, it is a world where the first are first and the last are last. So it should be. We love our graceless world.

Unfortunately such a world leads to inferiority complexes, insecurities, stress and anorexia, depression, self abuse, addictions and suicide! These mental illnesses are all a result of our failure to win in a world where the world are first. Even when the rare few reach first place many of them end up messed up because of the struggle to remain there. The rest of us, without a hope of first, end up in failed attempts to impress and a fakeness and shallowness that is hoping beyond hope that people never get to know what we are really like. We will struggle in the darkness of a world where everyone lives a constant struggle to be the first and avoid being the last; first are first screws us all up!

What if? What if there was another way; a very different way. What if there was a world where the last were first! What if there was a world where you were loved as you are; completely. What a revolutionary idea. What a radical concept. It is almost scandalous, there very thought of it; the scoundrel would get the prize. This other way is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God loved us as we were and loved us so much that he demonstrated his love for us in this that while we were sinners Christ died for us. It will be very difficult place to get to with the default button that we humans begin with. It doesn’t seem how it should be. Yet, it is our only hope. It is our salvation. It is called Grace, it means unmerited favour and Jesus was born, lived, died and was raised to life in order that such an idea could become a reality. Loved as you are and loved in such a way that you can be made into who you could become. Wow!


Jonny Gibson

Excuse the critique, but ...I've always thought there's a bit of logic problem  in this. If the last become first and the first last, then are the newly appointed last, going to be first again in an endless loop.  If not, it seems harsh on the 'first'. In fact how are we defining 'firsts'? If I save money and not buy fancy cars and instead invest in my kids education and well-being giving then the best start in life (or if they have the misfortune to be talented or beautiful)... Then they become 'first' are they doomed to be 'last'?    Obviously it's a nice thought that 'it will all be alright in the end for people who have it tough', but just believing it doesn't make it so.      I'd say the 'lasts' tend to have their lot in life improved through politics, medical and other scientific research and practical help from others. 

I think you are over selling the revolutionary nature of it as well,  isn't it really just a bit like socialism



i think your question on how we define "firsts" cuts to the heart of our problem (and it is a problem). That we tend to do so, individually and as society, in a rather arbitrary fashion underlines the absurdity of regarding the intrinsic value of a human being in terms of a status we've dreamt up ourselves. Us middle class bozos might regard educational achievement as "first", others wear ignorance like stars on an epaulette. Different "firsts", but Christ (I think!) says they're equally last. The endless loop doesn't seem all that illogical to me... in fact it seems an appropriate metaphor.

Steve (but not Stockman)

Jonny Gibson

But, if I may, doesn't that make is even more illogical? Ur saying that you dont think there even are any firsts to me made last.  Stocki's example of firsts were those who pass gcse's and are dedicated talented sports people.  He seems to be saying they're screwed. Sheesh.   Following the logic, there's almost something of the jihadi about it... don't worry there are many riches in heaven etc


No, far from it, i'm suggesting that our societies have plenty of "firsts", plenty of hierarchies to be top (or bottom) of. But I'm suggesting that none of them provide even a rational, never mind moral, basis for assessing the worth of a human being. And I think that would still be the case even in the absence of any kind of afterlife. BTW, jihadis are a case in point: They enjoy high status in the societies they are part of, based not on who they are, but what they do... It's surprising just how broadly counter-cultural the teachings of Christ were, and remain.

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