Grace 101

What it is.

The beauty of the term Grace lies in its scope. It reaches into the collective experience as well as into the personal. It is everywhere, should one look closely enough. It sings of all good things. It whispers of love and kindness. It reflects the goodness of God, like light bouncing off still waters.

Below are some modern-day definitions of Grace that I’m particularly fond of:

“(d) disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.” (Merriam-Webster)

“The condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race…” (Modern Catholic Dictionary, J. Hardon).

“(3.1) A divinely given talent or blessing.” (Oxford Dictionary)

” (the term) derives from the Greek, charis. In secular Greek, charis was related to chairo, ‘to rejoice’. As far back as Homer it denoted “sweetness” or “attractiveness.” It came to signify ‘favor’, ‘goodwill’, and ‘lovingkindness’ — especially as granted by a superior to an inferior.” (Wayne Jackson)

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. (Jesus of Nazareth – Gospel according to Matthew 11:28, The Message Bible)

“In the New Testament, ‘grace’ (156 times) takes on a special redemptive sense in which God makes available his favor on behalf of sinners, who actually do not deserve it. There is tremendous emphasis in the New Testament upon the fact that human salvation is the result of Heaven’s grace.” (Wayne Jackson)

 

My personal experience of Grace.

I haven’t had an easy life. But it is precisely because my life hasn’t been easy that the concept of Grace appeals to me so strongly. It made the broken things less broken, less ugly. If God chooses to dwell in a little rundown shack, then doesn’t that shack become a palace?

I’ve found that the Grace of God makes everything new. It adds color to the black and white, it makes novel dreams and builds roads on rough terrain.  And this grace, when it ricochets off ourselves onto others, begins a beautiful loop that warms not only the Creator’s heart, but the hearts of all those involved in the exchange.

But you don’t have to necessarily believe to be graceful. We can all bestow Grace on each other.

We can all learn to spot it in the broken places.

This is what this blog, and my writing is about.

For my personal experience of Grace, click here.