One of my favourite Christian words is ‘grace’ – often explained by the mnemonic – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Grace tells us of the unmerited love and forgiveness that God pours out on us, as we turn to him. Love demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus Christ and confirmed in his resurrection.
The other day I came home to find on my doorstep a large box. Not unusual in this time when we are getting so much of our shopping through Amazon or other online delivery companies but on this day I wasn’t expecting anything so I was a little puzzled.
When I opened the box I found a carefully packed arrangement of stunning flowers and a card, thanking me for what I was doing, with no signature or sign of who had given them. A moment of incredible grace as I received a gift that was completely unexpected and unmerited. Thank you, to who ever gave me the flowers. They really are glorious.
One of the joys of this time is how many acts of grace we have seen or been the recipients of. These small, and sometimes not so small, acts of kindness have helped transform this potentially painful time into one which has been a time of blessing to many of us. It has been a joy to see how caring and considerate our community and wider society has been. However, we know that there are many people who are still finding this time very difficult. Families who are struggling to make ends meet or cope with children who don’t want to do their home schooling, or for lack of resources, aren’t able to do it. We know there are people trapped in abusive households and others trapped in their homes who are having to shield – and live with the anxiety that compromised immunity causes. How can we show God’s grace to them?
It is Christian Aid week and so we need to remember the work that Christian Aid does around the world for those whose lives are devastated by war, climate change or natural disasters. so many people are reliant on food banks at present. We might not be able to donate food as easily as in the past – although you may always leave donations on my door step and I will deliver – but you can give financially to them. The Women’s Refuge is working very hard to support those who aren’t able to get to them through phone contact and counselling. They too need our support. Although these acts of generosity may seem small on our part, yet they are all acts of grace – just are the cards, phone calls, what’s app messages that are such important ways of showing love.
God’s grace isn’t just for a brief moment. He didn’t stop pouring out his grace after the Ascension of Christ, nor does it stop even when we don’t acknowledge his love and forgiveness in our lives. So our acts of kindness and giving must not stop as lock down eases.
Let us be still for a moment and remember the acts of grace given to us – by God and by others. To give thanks for them and renew our commitment to being God’s ministers of his grace to our families, communities and the world: freely, generously and even where it isn’t noticed, continuously sharing his love, his compassion and his unmerited grace. After all, that’s what we received from him.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you today and always. Amen.