18 Jan 2007 05:56 PM

Words by Rev. Lillie - Grace

Grace is giving unearned—sometimes undeserved gifts—or unconditional love to another.

For example, when we are a young child, no matter how mischievous or provocative, compliant or dutiful we might be, we still get a present on our birthday!

The most profound example of grace I know is the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that was flying to Washington, DC on 9/11. Experts tell us that it was very likely going to crash into some building in DC that is a prominent symbol of our country. Yet, despite the terrorists’ intentions, Flight 93 crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Because a few passengers were courageous enough to take matters into their own hands, a DC building was spared and grace happened for some workers. What a wonderful example of grace given to those who certainly did not earn it and were never even aware of it.

Our Universalist heritage is about grace. Grace is the best word in our language to describe God’s unconditional love for us.

The culture in which we live embodies the antithesis of grace. In our society, it seems we must earn everything—including forgiveness. It is hard for us to accept grace-filled actions. Just in the last few months, individuals have publicly forgiven perpetrators of crimes against their loved ones, yet newspapers publish the comments of others that cannot understand this forgiveness.

In the last decade, many Protestant re-ligions have become more inclusive, accept-ing women as ministers, as well as accepting gays and lesbians into their churches and their ministries. They have been living out the grace that Jesus brought into the religious story of Christianism.

However, there are still those who cannot embrace the concept of grace or the belief in God’s unconditional love for everyone. Our Universalism calls us to live out the grace that Jesus brought to human consciousness. It calls us to implement unconditional love in our lives for each other. No matter what the issues, we are all challenged to live out the principles of our religion.
What would it look like if we intention-ally saw every person we meet as a person worthy of God’s unconditional love, a grace-filled person? At hospitality after church, at work, at play—a stranger we meet in line at the grocery store? Would the conversation be any different if we asked them, “What in your life brings you blessings?” or “joy;” instead of “What do you do?” or “Where do you live?”

Wouldn’t our lives be different—better—if we could see every person we meet, includ-ing those with whom we disagree, as an op-portunity to spread God’s grace and unconditional love?

Grace, living out God’s unconditional love which Jesus brought to the world. Is it possible?

Posted by Sue Mosher at January 18, 2007 05:56 PM
Posted to Worth reading