For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. Titus 2:11
You don’t have Christianity without grace.
Grace is a gift that we do not deserve. All other religions feature works. You get better by working harder while never knowing whether you were good enough – coming to Judgment Day with your proverbial fingers crossed.
Those following Christ find grace. Though a gift, we don’t understand it. Read theology and find the words “justification” and “sanctification.” What? Read further and you note those believing in “irresistible grace” debating with those who insist upon “prevenient grace.”
I find theology difficult to understand too.
When I want to teach about grace, I look for illustration and insight in the actions and lives of others. In 49 years of being a pastor, I have met thousands who needed grace. However, I also learned that if I used a congregant’s story as an illustration in a public sermon, it never ended well for me.
Fortunately, I have grandchildren.
The week before Easter, my daughter, Megan, was driving home from Kroger with granddaughter, Lila, in the back seat. Megan heard the rustling of a wrapper and looking in the rearview mirror, noticed Lila eating a chocolate Easter Egg.
Megan had not purchased a chocolate Easter Egg for Lila at Kroger.
She pulled the car over, and turning around, asked Lila, “Did you steal that egg?” To which Lila replied, “Don’t worry, Mommy. You know that old man standing next to us? I beeped the egg on his scanner.”
My wife and I had a discussion later on how a four-year old could come up with such a plan..
We decided that Lila doesn’t understand stealing, but she does know that you can’t take something out of Kroger without beeping it on a scanner. She also knew that her mother wouldn’t beep it, so she figured the old guy wouldn’t mind.
Lila’s precocious mind and strong desire for the Easter egg probably circumvented her free will and made her beep the egg. My wife and I agreed that it was somebody’s fault, but not Lila’s.
How many times have you had to beep God’s scanner with the anxieties and wounds resulting from your behavior? And you are old enough to know that it is your fault.
Grace! A gift that we don’t deserve.
I know that Lila must be taught about stealing, about asking her Mom for something, and that Kroger, while appreciating the egg being scanned, would prefer that it be scanned properly.
Let me conclude my Interruption on grace by mentioning that if you qualify as an “old guy,” and after returning from Kroger last week, noticed a charge of $1.79 for a chocolate egg that you did not purchase…
Let me know. Lila’s grandfather (that’s me) will be glad to reimburse you.