On Sunday, our pastor preached about grace and the role of grace in healthy families. You can listen to the sermon here – and you really should ‘cause it was quite good.
So, what is grace? If you listen to the sermon, you’ll hear lots of definitions. Basically, grace is unmerited favor, getting something you don’t deserve. The ultimate act of grace was God’s sending Jesus to die for our sins and pay the penalty so that we don’t have to. But, we can show grace to others in our relationships every day.
Wild Man and I arrived in West Palm Beach Monday afternoon to visit my parents. If you want to see grace in action, just come watch these two people!! First, we went to my mom’s workplace because she has to work third shift and couldn’t handle that we were in town but she hadn’t seen us. When we got there, all that Wild Man and I heard was how much Grams talked about us and how much great stuff she said about us. It bordered on embarrassing, but who’s going to tell someone not to say nice stuff about you?!
We left Grams’ workplace and Grandpa was willing to do pretty much whatever we wanted for dinner. We finally settled on driving through a Burger King so the guys could get burgers and I would make a sandwich here at the house. Throughout the evening, Grandpa’s entire goal in life was to make sure that we were comfortable and that we could get everything set up for scanning pictures tomorrow without incident. (Scanning photos is the “real” reason that we’re here.) I mentioned that I’d like to have some Dove soap instead of Dial or Ivory whenever he next goes to the store, and he made a special trip at 9pm to make sure that I had Dove soap. Then, he took orders for the correct kind of Dunkin’ Donuts for the morning (since we don’t have the luxury of Dunkin’ Donuts at home).
Talk about unmerited favor. All I did was show up. I mean, I’m generally a nice person, and I call a couple of times a week, and I haven’t threatened to shut them up in a trashy nursing home one of these days, but I certainly don’t deserve the royal treatment that my parents give me whenever I come home. Why do they do it? Because I went to college and have letters behind my name? Doubtful – especially since I’m not even working outside the home, much the less in my chosen field. Is it because I’m some famous person – not likely, considering my blog readership is less than 50 and I’m well-known only in the environs of my small town.
No, my parents are so good to me because I’m their kid. The love me. The do this same treatment for my brother, who is a great guy, although not nearly as cute as I am. In other words, it’s grace. We are treated well based purely on our relationship with our parents.
And it’s that way with God, too. He loves us because He created us, not because of what we do. It’s perfectly OK to come to Him even when we’ve messed up, even when we have neglected our prayer times, even when we question whether He exists. He’s still there are He still loves us. Even though we don’t deserve it. It’s called grace. And it’s amazing.