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The Bible lessons for this Sunday loudly declare God's grace.

Psalm 107 speaks of rescue from a variety of terrible predicaments (hunger/thirst, slavery, illness, stormy seas). Some of these troubles are seen as the consequence of poor choices and bad behavior. Some of these troubles are depicted as random suffering. Whatever the case we are told that when the people cried to the Lord, "he delivered them from their distress" (Psalm 107:13).

Ephesians 2 describes humanity as 'spritually' dead, enslaved to sin, children of wrath. Despite this condition of open rebellion against God, we are told that God still loved us and determined to save us: "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when were were dead in our trespasses, made us alive togehter whith Christ..." (Ephesians 2:4).

These 'stories' of God's compose the foundation story of the Christian faith: how God has reached out in Jesus to a people that rebelled against him; how God is determined to rescue and save us.

This is a story that is often told. But as someone mentioned after the service, it is a story that needs to be experienced. We can talk all day and all night about God's grace, but until a person experiences care and kindness that they don't deserve, that message will never be understood.

I wonder if this is one of the reasons that we are commended to do 'good works': to serve others, to forgive others, to respond to evil with good. If God's grace needs to be experienced to be understood, maybe we are the very ones that will embody it for others. I'm going to try to remember this the next time someone crosses me or disappoints me. Maybe I can be the instrument that will help others comprehend God's grace.



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