Grace. Simple elegance, a smile, courteous goodwill, a circle that surrounds us, moments of blessing, a hug or a text from a loved one or a stranger that meets the needs of your soul. Grace is experiencing the divine through people and places that inspire regeneration, virtuous impulses, and the strength to endure the difficult trials of life. Grace is God-gifted yet sometimes hard to find, or see, or experience…but it is always there if we look for it. How do I know? Because it was promised by the one God who put on the skin of humanity to walk among us “full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
I believe it is time to start looking for GRACE on a regular basis. Like athletes in training, we’re going to spend time each week thinking about Grace, learning about Grace and looking for Grace in all the places of our life. Sometimes, like “reading between the lines,” we’ll have to find Grace-between-the-lines, but we’ll find it there. Even in these days where life seems a bit chaotic, a little messed up and different than we’ve been used to for most of our life, Grace is real, flourishing and unmistakable because Jesus is real, flourishing and unmistakable when we recognize his presence through the gift of the Holy Spirit. For sure, the last year has thrown us into new experiences, forced us to learn new skills and digital communication, and changed the way we look at each other – through masks and sometimes fogged up glasses! But I bet, if you think about it, there have been moments and experiences of Grace that surprise and astound you.
To grow and hone this new skill of Grace-awareness, we’ve picked a “Grace Day” – we’re calling it “Where’s the Grace? Wednesday.” Yep, we’re going to spend every Wednesday reminding ourselves of the Grace that is gifted to us if we but become aware of it.
- The first Wednesday of the month will be “The Gift of Grace” – scripture inspirations of Grace and the Biblical reminder that God has gifted God’s beloved children, all of humanity, Grace that forgives, saves and creates new life out of deep, dark, hard life experiences
- The second Wednesday will be “Stories of Grace” – interviews with people who have toughed out hard situations and experiences but realize the moments of Grace that got them through. These interviews will be available via social media and our website
- The third Wednesday of the month will be “Roots of Grace” – quotes and a little reminder of Martin Luther’s perspective on Grace. We’ll share a quote and a prayer to heighten our awareness of Grace from the Lutheran perspective
- The last Wednesday of the month will be “Words of Grace” – a blog on Grace that will entice us to look at Grace in our everyday lives.
- And if there’s a fifth Wednesday in a month, we’ll share “Songs of Grace” which will provide music to the soul and share Grace in a way that touches more of our emotions and senses.
Through this monthly rhythm, we’ll take a long look at Grace every Wednesday and we’ll build our muscle that realizes God’s Grace around us, and Jesus’ presence with us in the most mundane or even in the hardest experiences. My hope is that scripture, stories, Marty quotes, songs and this blog will inspire you to see moments of grace in your day, good or bad, fun or difficult. Grace is amazing because it abounds, it is all around us. Grace is amazing because it can be glimpsed for a moment or a string of moments. Amazing Grace is God’s gift to us that we get to share with each other.
So, get ready, get set…We’ll start next Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Join us here on the website or on social media to participate in looking for “Where’s the Grace? Wednesday”, or you can wait for the monthly synod email that will hold a month’s worth of links to scripture, stories, quotes, the blog and songs.
For now, take some time to reflect on your worst day this week. Does a moment (or two) stand out to you that allowed you to see a spark of Grace, a break in the chaos? Was there a moment where you got to breath slower and more deeply than the frantic, short breaths that characterized most of the day? Did someone smile at you, pay for your lunch or reach out through a text, phone call or post? Grace.
As you reflect on your best day this week, does a moment or moments stand out to you that allowed you to experience a deep joy, maybe a satisfaction or peace that you haven’t experienced in a long time? Whatever experience makes this memory exceptional is the amazing gift of the divine. Grace
Grace is amazing. Feel free to share your story of Grace in the comments below!