The wipe off board in the office has the message.
How do we miss the grace of God?
How do we miss sharing the grace of God with others?
It seems as if the verse is a call to action.
Mahatma Gandhi was an activist who was known for non violent passive resistance.
Mother Teresa was known as one of the greatest humanitarians of our lifetime.
Both of these historical figures can shed light on how to live the Hebrew verse. We can learn from their examples.
There is the small child who loves to help her Mimi with dishes. Even though all know that she really just wants to play in the water - the busyness of doing dishes actually helps in cleaning the kitchen. The small child wants to be with Mimi - wants to be near her and involved in the activities of Mimi. Of course the reverse is true - Mimi serves the small child by encouraging her to help (with dishes) - to be involved in the day to day activities of a home.
The contractor knew what had to be done and so work he did. Sometimes helping others means serving at home.
A round trip drive is 12 hours - the service began at 11am and ended around 1pm with lunch. The college roommate drove that 12 hours solo just to be there for the her father's final farewell. Much more than a small act and certainly completed with great love. The same college roommate taught the other about God's love from a different growing up world. A world where she learned of saints, Mother Mary, Mother Teresa, responsive readings, and Jesus depicted on the cross. For the other the Catholic faith was a mystery often misunderstood. Appreciation has flowed since those college days and traveling service acts remain constant - all because of the love that is known. For there are many different ways to follow Jesus and learning to value, respect, and honor the other ways is a demonstration of that love that each have learned about.
The courage to speak from the heart is often times simply mind blowing. The couple from Austin, Texas have shared their hearts in a real and vulnerable way. There have been many discussions and some could wonder if love is guiding the voice. Love was seen in the original thoughts of the couple - love for them was taking a stand that became certainly a controversial topic.
Sunday's sermon was reflected on King Nebuchadnezzar and the pastor shared that the results of the 2016 Presidential election are irrelevant in relationship to God's sovereign power. Nebuchadnezzar is certainly not someone we would label a "servant of God" upon first look. But in Jeremiah's book we read that "Where these stones are buried, behold, saith the Lord I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and on this place he will erect his pavilion and set his throne as the king over Egypt. I have given Egypt and all the civilized nations of the world into his hands." Jeremiah 43:10-13. God will still be God and will still be the sovereign ruler of our land and lives after the election of this year - and the elections of the years to follow. And God will use his servants to further His kingdom. How is love being shown, grace given, grace received in these turbulent political times? Is the realization that God prevails encouragement enough to love all?
No one misses His grace when love is our motive, when love propels us to act, when love gives, when we serve. As we ensure that others capture His grace we find that we in turn are captured by His grace.
St. Francis of Assisi perhaps has said it best of all:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Love is the result of Inhabiting Grace in this world of ours and when we love - no one misses.
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.