A Final Thought on Growing in Grace

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

Dear People of St. David’s,

As we come to the close of the summer months and come to the end of the program year, we’ve been focused on Growing in Grace. I want to offer one final thought: grace is the defining gift of the Christian life. It is the reality of the nature of this God who loves all of us, just as we are. Grace cannot be earned and is not a gift that comes to us because we deserve it. It can only be received and given freely because that is the nature of God. The invitation to the Christian life is to live by grace and to treat others graciously, whether they deserve it or not.

We live in a world that is not very gracious all the time; a world where we must earn our way and deserve the good things that come to us. We treat ourselves and others on some scale of merit or worth based on usefulness, importance, or power. Anyone who is not all that useful or worthy gets treated as such. When people cross us or do something hurtful to us and those we love, we often respond unkindly.

That’s not God’s vision for the world. God’s vision for the world and for our lives is for us to treat ourselves, and all others, with a touch of grace, forgiveness, and love. We grow in grace not by overlooking bad behavior or hurtfulness, but by responding with mercy and forgiveness. Responding this way is a sign of God’s mercy and forgiveness that we have been coming to know in our lives with God and one another.

My final thought on Growing in Grace is that there needs to be more growth so there’s more grace. Let’s all practice being a little more forgiving and loving of ourselves. It’s alright to forgive your ‘younger’ self for something you would never do today. We should respond to others with more forgiveness and love and revel in their surprise and gratitude. Take hold of the unbounded grace and love God has for us and share it with each person we meet. Let’s watch God’s grace and our grace lay the foundations for a better world.

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. W. Frank Allen