This weekend I have the honor and responsibility of preaching at my church, State Street Community Church. Pastor Nate is on vacation and asked me to fill in for him. We are currently in between sermon series so he said I could preach about anything I wanted. Anything I want, you say? This could be very dangerous. Possibly a teaching on the theological implications of show tunes? or not.
I knew immediately what I wanted to talk about: I want to talk about grace. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about, to think about, to live about. And as I have been preparing, I have been getting excited and thoughtful and thankful and overwhelmed and emotional at what that little word grace actually means….at what it does.
I was watching a video the other day of Brennan Manning. Manning is one of my all time favorite authors. If you have never read Ragamuffin Gospel, I highly recommend it. It is a beautiful story of grace. In this short video clip, Manning stated that everything is grace.
I love this. Everything. is. grace.
so what does that mean?
In his book, A Fellowship of Differents, Scot McKnight talks about the long and the short of it when it comes to grace. I was really challenged by this idea that for many of us, we stop at the short story of grace. The short story of grace is this gift given to the unworthy; unmerited favor; getting what we do not deserve. And while this is beautiful and necessary in our understanding of what grace is, it is only part of the story. There is a full story of grace that includes so much more than just our unworthiness. The full story of grace is the story of how God meets us in our unworthiness and then creates new space for us in healing and restoration. The full story is the stuff that goes beyond the unworthiness. It is the sacred space where God meets us and calls us and leads us. Everything is grace.
Paul, who knew a little something about grace, writes in 1 Corinthians 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. “(NASB) Paul attributed everything in his life, who he was, everything he had done and would do, to grace. Paul lived the full story of grace. Everything is grace.
Grace is believing that Jesus is who he says he is, did and is doing what he promised to do, and our lives then become defined by this. Our lives are then seen through this lens. Everything we are; everything we do; Everything is grace.
It really is everything…..
Grace is not setting an alarm clock. 🙂
Grace is driving with the windows down.
Grace is a sleeping child.
Grace is an early morning cup of coffee in silence.
Grace is stopping what you are doing to really listen.
Grace is the accepting presence of a friend.
Grace is a song; it is a smile.
Grace is gentleness when anger screams to be the louder voice.
Grace is forgiveness when it is so much easier to hold a grudge.
Grace is healing; grace is transforming; grace is freedom.
The full story of grace allows us to define ourselves, our lives, by our absolute belief in Jesus.
Everything. is. grace.