Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Change of pace - let's talk about Grace

Of course, it is capitalized.  It changed my life.  It continues to change my life.  You don't need to capitalize the word love, but you should.  Maybe, for the same reason we bandy those two words about as it they were as common as dirt, but you can find dirt everywhere you go and never realize that grace and love were meant to be that common.

Can you possibly see this world that we live in being changed by these two words?  Do you realize all of the activities that would have to go out of business if only, we were to be infected with love and empowered by grace?   Oh my, I am getting closer and closer to that life, but I don't want to see this life of mine pass by without more evidence of infectious love and empowering grace.

They have been around for over 2,000 years now and writers more clever than I and poets more creative have attempted what I am trying to do.  Listen up.  Observe these twins.

Love came first as it was present in the beginning.  Grace followed as our loving eternal Father knew what we did not seem to know, love was more than just a word.  It was a eternal calling.  It is as vital as the air we breathe.  But it was missing on that day when they dragged that beaten and bruised very Son of God up a hill called Calvary in a futile attempt to erase love from our vocabulary.

Little did they know that the God they professed to know, had known of their treachery from the moment that the serpent persuaded the woman to inspire against her Maker.

I can almost hear His thoughts as He pondered the challenge offered by the enemies of God.  "So", He thought, "they want to erase love from their vocabulary.  I will provide them with a even greater challenge.  Let them deal with grace, My redemption at His expense."

It may have threatened His opponents when they realized the tomb had been opened and it no longer provided evidence of their power.  They had yet to realize that a greater power had been released.

We mention it in sermons, we use the word as a blessing before our meals, seldom understanding that this word, grace, changed eternity from the day it was made evident.

You sin, I sin, we all sin.  As such we are doomed.  Doomed to what?  Don't bother to ask as our Father wants us to fully grasp all that the word, grace, was meant to convey. It is power, personified.

I have it on good authority that it involved the life of a man whose friendship I cherish.  Born into this word as a black man, to an unstable family, raised on the streets of Memphis, left to find his own way through life.  He chose the wrong way.  He killed a man, a white man.  His sentence was easy to accept for most of the rest of humanity.  Death.  And so it was.  Then along comes a preacher man and a belief that God knew more than the prison authorities.  My friend accepted God's redemption at Christ's expense.  They gave him a Bible to read, only he did not know how to read.  He learned how. Along came a white man with a history of sin, worse than anything that could happen to black men, eve when raised on the streets of Memphis.  They had two things in common, grace.  It bound them together as if they were born of the same womb.  The day is fast approaching when the two will meet on this side of the prison walls, embrace, and move on to the different worlds in which we were raised.  I will stay here writing, he will mount the pulpit in a brother's church and remind his brethren, God is still in the "grace" business, providing life where there is no life, real life known to all who have grasped, grace.

Please do't tell me that grace is too easy.  First, it cost the mortal life of God's Son.   It cost me almost forty years in the mistaken belief that after reading the Bible a few times, I knew all I needed to know.  And my friend, he went to prison as a young man and will leave it as a old man.

We both know that we know, while love opens the door, it is grace that sustains our lives.

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