Grace is a funny thing. We often want grace from others - we often give grace to others - but do we inhabit grace?
Inhabiting grace just may be a way to get through the messy parts of life standing up at the end, might be a way to live to help others along the way, yes we can be Him in our world when we Live In Grace.
Grace can be seen in many different ways. How do we treat each other? Do we meet someone where they are - do we get uncomfortable & squished so that we can be Jesus in a world where Jesus is sometimes hard to find? Do we get on the floor - sometimes getting dirty - to reach out to others - even the messy ones that cross our paths?
Oh it is easy to Inhabit Grace when the people we are around are ones we love - ones that make our hearts sing.
But so many times - we "execute" grace. We eliminate it from our daily encounters with others, remove it from our journeys, we end the path to Jesus for so many and then realize we just missed an opportunity to inhabit grace.
The death penalty is a controversial topic, a sometimes frequent action (in some US states), and a challenging practice to many. Just recently a close examination of the Death Penalty has revealed facts that are troubling.
The Democratic platform on the Death Penalty is:
Calls for the abolition of the death penalty, which it describes as “a cruel and unusual form of punishment" that "has no place” in the nation.
The Republican platform on the Death Penalty is:
Decries the "over-federalization of criminal justice," says the constitutionality of the death penalty is "firmly settled," and condemns the U.S. Supreme Court for what it calls the "erosion of the right of the people to enact capital punishment".
In the summer of 2016 the book entitled Executing Grace was released. From the book's website:
The author - Shane Claiborne has been traveling all over the US to share the story of the death penalty in our country. His thoughts are provoking and in Fort Worth Texas in September of 2016 he spoke and then joined a panel of others that have been impacted by the death penalty.
Christopher Scott's story is compelling. And his story is featured in a book entitled Tested: How Twelve Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held Onto Hope. Ryan Matthews' sister - Ryan was 17 when he was convicted of murder. Rev Goalson is a pastor in Plano. A member's son was executed in Texas in the spring of 2016 - the reverend has had to question her thoughts on the death penalty. When the member asked "how can you believe in the death penalty - my son is on death row.". The evening was monitored by Kevin Redick. The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is a grass roots organization - their website is tcadp.org.
Listening to their stories - reading Shane's book - searching scriptures - discussing with mentors..... the question begs If our theology doesn't look like Jesus - we should question.
Inhabiting Grace is a blog to capture moments that compel us to Live In Grace in our daily lives. Many times it is simple but even more than that - living in grace is hard.
Love is the result of Inhabiting Grace in this world of ours.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer & perfecter of faith.
Cheryl Cannon Groves holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Tarleton State University. She & her husband Kerry live in North Central Texas and have 3 Sons, a Daughter (in law), and a Grandson and a Granddaughter. Cheryl opposes the death penalty.