Scripture: Ephesians 2:1-10
Key verse: (8) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Reflection: As a young person I memorized this Bible verse as I tried to figure out what it meant to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m not so young anymore and this verse means so much more to me now. As I mature I realize more and more the depth and breadth of God’s grace for me.
When I speak to our eighth grade students in confirmation, I teach them this quote, attributed to author Cathleen Falsani: “Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. And grace is getting what you absolutely don’t deserve.” As one wise disciple told me (a lawyer!), we want justice for others, but mercy and grace for ourselves. Grace is the lavish extravagant love of God poured out on us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Grace is so much more than forgiveness; grace is the abundance of spiritual blessing we experience as God’s people.
In my younger years, I was driven to prove myself as a student, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a disciple. I wanted to show God that I was worthy. That’s why I memorized Bible verses and kept long prayer lists in a journal. None of that hard work made God love me anymore than God already loved me from the moment of my birth. I have more understanding of what a gift it is, rather than a reward for my attempts at good behavior. Grace through faith – pure gift. Like the beauty of the sunrise, the laughter of a child, the embrace of a loved one – pure gift. We are surrounded by glimpses of the gifts of God’s grace. May your heart be open to God’s gift of grace today. This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God!
Prayer: Your grace is enough for me, O God. I am grateful for the gift of grace you have so generously given me. May your grace shape my life today. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].