So what exactly is grace? We use that word a lot in the church but it is a word that all of us might not really understand. Before I went to seminary I had no idea what grace meant when it was used in the church. For me grace was either the prayer you said before a meal or it had something to do with treating someone nicely, usually when they had done something well, as in someone could be in your good graces. However, I really had no idea what it meant when someone talked about grace of God or if the pastor said “thank you God for your grace”. Then to make things even more difficult pastors would often talk about the Means of Grace. What in the world did that mean?
The church father Augustine of Hippo defined grace in his writing by saying, by saying, “This grace of Christ, without which neither infants nor grown persons can be saved, is not bestowed as a reward for merits, but is given freely, which is why it is called grace.” In other words, there is nothing anyone can do to earn this grace, it is God’s free gift to humanity.
Aha, so I was pretty close before seminary, not with the prayer said before the meal thing, but the other part, it was about being in someone’s good graces, but I was wrong about the “usually when they had done something well”. There is actually nothing we can do to earn the grace of God. It is a free gift to us! However, if it is a free gift to us, what is it about these Means of Grace? Well, this is exactly what we will be talking about this week! But first let’s read our scripture for the day and I will see you in the video.
Read: John 1:1-14 (NIV)
Questions to Consider:
- What do you know about the Grace of God?
- What do you know about the Means of Grace?
- What things have you learned about being a United Methodist during this sermon series?
Prayer: God of grace. Thank you for all the good gifts that you give to your children. Help me to be faithful. Amen.