Scripture Reference – John 1:4 “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.”
During her first term in office, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher went to Brighton for Government meetings. She checked into the hotel and was going about her business when a bomb exploded that was meant to end her life. She lived, but four of her closest friends died in the explosion. In true British fashion, the Prime Minister carried on and did what needed to be done. Two days later was Sunday and the prime minister was in church. That particular Sunday there seemed to be a special light shining in the candles, and when the sunlight came streaming through the stained-glass windows she began to weep. At last, it hit her that this was a day that she was not meant to see. There were those who wanted her dead, and they had very nearly succeeded. But this day was a gift from God, a gift that some had not intended for her to receive. With sadness for her friends, and gratitude that she was alive, the tears streamed down her cheeks.
Spiritually, we also find ourselves in similar circumstance. Condemned to die; cheated out of life by the deceit of an enemy that wishes to destroy us. But, by the miracle of God’s grace, we live.
When faced with defining the essence of grace, many things come to mind. Some would say the essence of grace is mercy; some might say it is love; some may offer the idea of Godly power, forgiveness or other things. While these are important elements of grace, they are not the essence of grace. In order to identify the essence of grace we must call to mind the reason God made us. God created us and gave us life. God breathed life into man. He created us to live in fellowship and friendship with him. Each of these other elements of grace is important but they are the prelude to the essence or purpose of grace. Without God’s grace there is no life. Sin condemns us to death without hope of escape. But the waiver of the deserved sentence comes from the “Judge of All Things” who, by an act of nothing less than grace, pronounces a penalty of atoning sacrifice then pays the cost himself by giving his own son in payment. Yes, it was an act of loving mercy but an act that would not be had life not been the ultimate purpose. The essence of grace is simple – it is God given life!
Blessed Lord and Savior, today is a day of remembrance. We gather to remember our lost condition and the Salvation that has made change possible. We remember that only by the cleansing of the blood you shed for us, by your body broken, are we made whole. We remember that all good things come from by your provision. We remember that our ability to endure the trials of life comes from the strengthening of your Holy Spirit. We are thankful for your example of love and life; for your suffering and the stripes you bore upon yourself on our behalf; for your death and resurrection that brings to us the promise of life eternal. We acknowledge our blessings and thank you for them. We bring before you those among us who are in greatest need of all that you bought for us on Calvary. We ask your healing for those who are sick and suffering, your comfort for those who are hurting, your loving presence for those who are lonely and your forgiveness for us all.
Keep the Faith,