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Lent Day Six

February 24, 2015

Amazing grace. God’s gift for us all only because we believe. Nothing more. A gift given to us without cost on our part that our Almighty God lovingly gives us.

It is also the name of hymn I think most people know and one I’ve loved for most of my adult life. While I don’t have a good singing voice, I do love to sing and love music. Often I sang “Amazing Grace” to my precious Sarah when she was a baby and toddler – before she recognized that I sounded more like a wounded animal than a soothing mommy.

Just three or four years ago, I heard a new-to-me and more contemporary version of this powerful, melodic message. By Chris Tomlin, it’s called, Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone). I heard it by accident one night, I believe on NPR of all places. Since then I purchased it and we sang it a couple of years ago when I attended the Florida Bahamas Synod Assembly.

While I love the melody of both the original and updated versions, it is the message of God’s grace that stirs  me whenever I hear it or sing it. Grace is the kind of gift that becomes more meaningful as I get older. I don’t know that I ‘got it’ when I was younger and less experienced.

Grandma used to say, “There but for the grace of God.” I adored Grandma so I knowingly nodded my head but really had no idea what she meant. All these years later, I do understand and my prayers thank God that my life is what it is.

But for the grace of God, I could have been born in a war-torn land. I could be homeless and hungry. I could be alone and unloved. I could have illness or disabilities that restrict all that I can do in this life He gave me.

That is not to say that God’s grace and gift of eternal life is unavailable to people in those situations. It absolutely is and I should be helping spread that Good News. What I’m saying is that I am thankful I do not face those difficulties. I’m not sure why God spares me and not others. That’s a question people have asked for centuries and will continue to ask.

God’s grace is a powerful and maybe intimidating gift to accept and to understand. Maybe we weak and sinful humans can’t ever understand it. Accepting it is the easy part for us because God offers it without conditions other than our faith. Amazing.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

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