The first time I saw the sign, I did a double take. Every church should meet under the Grace Church banner.
The writer Philip Yancey calls grace the last untarnished word of Scripture. Grace has made its way through the past 2000 years while still conveying much of its original meaning.
The times grace comes into my life makes even my bones smile. Living in a tarnished world, there is far too much un-grace.
I spent last Saturday doing penance in a hair shirt. For more times than I care to count, I found myself in a defensive driving class. The thought crossed my mind that I should place the abbreviation D.D. as one of my degree credentials. Not to make people mistake me for a Doctor of Divinity, but it would give credit for the hours earned over a lifetime in Defensive Driving coarse work.
If only the stern officer on his motorcycle gave me grace instead of a ticket. The court could have offered grace rather than a fine. When I arrived for class the instructor could have told me I was forgiven and handed me a ten dollar bill for breakfast but grace was not in her heart or her vocabulary. It took seven hours of my time and another fee to atone for my sin. Not a lot of grace experienced in the whole ordeal.
Jesus came to pay for every time Satan issues a ticket to me.
(Just to clear the record, I am not referring to the honorable officer as Satan. I am only changing the analogy.)
Over my 66 years of life, I find most people don’t see church or Christians as dispensers of God’s free grace.
Recently, I visited a Sunday worship service where un-grace stood out. The prayers dealt more with salvation through the American Dream—if only God would change the party in power—and on the struggle to stay on the narrow way God placed between salvation and me. Nor was much sign of God’s grace in the morning message.
Why is it so difficult to find grace among Christians?
It’s true. God’s gift of salvation and eternal life is free. The loving Father gives a winning ticket to anyone who wants one.
Okay, here it is.
Here is how the world can see Jesus through the testimony of a united church.
Then—and this is key—extend to others the gift of free grace just as God freely gave it to me.
Finally, lets sand blast the signs from our church buildings and our lives. Grace signs are free of charge to take their place.
I like the idea of being a member of Grace Church.
By the way, Grace Church has an abundance of free parking and spacious seating.
Gary J. Sorrells – Reflections on Cross Church.