Whenever I hear the word ‘grace’ I want to add ‘amazing’. The well known hymn Amazing Grace, refers to it as a sweet sound. Grace is a word that will mean different things to different people. We were discussing it at the Wednesday morning communion this week. Instead of a sermon we discuss the readings, which are a repeat of the ones we had on Sunday. Someone said that it all boils down to God’s grace. And our faith does depend upon God’s grace. His Grace is all we need. Paul wrote that when he was weak, God’s grace was sufficient. 2 Cor 12:9
His forgiveness and love are not earned nor deserved. There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there’s nothing we can do to make him love us less. And the more we receive God’s love and Grace, the more love we have for others. And it is amazing that God should love each and every one of us so much that he was willing to give his son Jesus, to be become human and to die as a sacrifice to pay for sin so that we can be right with God – not just be forgiven, but be brought into relationship to know God as our Father, and to receive the empowering of the Holy Spirit to help us live more loving lives.
I’ve written a poem about Grace.
Coming to God, I seek His face,
His sweet, loving kindness
meeting me with Grace
brings joy, delight and happiness.
It’s a scandal! Some say
that Grace be undeserved.
They think that we should pay
for all our wrongs performed.
But Jesus, the Divine
on the cross He died
for all your sin and mine
and the penalty was paid.
Mercy and Grace all can receive –
We only need to believe.
Believing this is difficult. We want to be self sufficient. We want to be loved – all of us deep down have a need to be loved. But we find it very difficult to accept unconditional love. We feel we should do something to deserve or earn it. And yet we do not expect our children to earn our love. We love them. And we feel hurt if they reject that love. We delight in them simply because they are who they are. When it comes to us and God, it is Grace that enables us to enter into that relationship of love. It is Grace that helps us to have faith. And why some people are able to believe and receive whilst others don’t is a mystery.
As I was trying to think of how to expand my original title of this piece from ‘Grace’ I added ‘can it be?’ And I was immediately reminded of my favourite hymn: And Can it Be? The answer to that question is a resounding YES! The picture below was painted a few years ago as I reflected on the chains that bound me being broken. My heart had been broken and was on the mend – still bruised and scarred but now released and free.
The poem I wrote is an English Sonnet. Instead of simply writing what comes to mind I set out to write using the rules of how many lines and the way they rhyme.
I read this post and recommend it if you want to think a bit more about grace; https://saintjohnwellesley.org/2014/06/faith-matters-the-meaning-of-grace/
Looking at my decorated ‘God’s Grace is all sufficient’, I realise it is not at all well done. The lettering isn’t even and could be very much better. I didn’t like it and I wasn’t going to share it. It definitely isn’t my best work. BUT…. then I wrote this on the facing page and went on to decorate it, again not very well done…. “could do better” should perhaps be the subtitle for this blog.