Life ran away from me over the past month. I’ve failed to give an update on our Sundays for over a month!
In talking with a friend, I mentioned that this Sunday people at the second service will likely remember three things: (1) that I said “have a drink”; (2) that I said “dork”; and (2) that I am a selfish and meticulous person. I told him that that was not my goal in the least. What I hoped people heard was that God’s grace is relentless, and that we all need it.*
Yet somehow, we miss it more often than we find it. Like we don’t even know the song that is sung to us morning by morning.
(For more info on this experiment, read here.)
The grace of God is the thing we have to offer people in this world. It’s the most unique thing about our faith. It changes entire villages. It restores broken souls and resurrects dead lives. Nothing is more important. Nothing is more satisfying. And it comes to us through what Christ did on the cross.
I think many people in our over-churched culture can get a technical definition of grace right. We have tricks. We have equations. We have cool sentences; but yet we often are rather graceless rather than graceful. We say things like this:
- Justice is getting what you deserve.
- Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
- Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
Now, that works in one way. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. But if I got up out of my chair and punched our worship leader, Evan, he wouldn’t deserve that, would he? So the idea breaks down.
Grace is that and so much more. Grace is God coming to this world in Jesus while we have nothing to do with him. Even while we hated him. Grace is Jesus dying for the world even though billions of people reject him. Grace is forgiving your spouse’s infidelity. And then forgiving it again. And again. The more we recognize our utter disgrace the more we can revel in God’s grace.
And not only that, but it is God’s grace that allows us to hold people while they die and give water to people who are dying of dehydration. Grace seeks restoration. It loves in spite of how terrible we are. Grace doesn’t ignore pain. Grace feels every ounce of hurt and pain in this world and casts it on Jesus. Grace doesn’t sweep things under the rug, but rather keeps all of that dirt from getting on anyone but the person giving the grace.
People don’t often go to church to find grace anymore. In fact, church members are some of the least gracious. But I have great hopes for my Chapel family and the grace we can find together in Jesus.
* What’s funny is that I actually don’t drink with any regularity. In my entire life I’ve probably had about 16 ounces of beer, four sips of wine, and maybe a few small sips of something else. I was actually referring to Crystal Light (which is commonplace in our home), but I decided just to roll with it once I figured out why people were laughing at the comment.