Pastoral Reflections- Rev. Mark Keefer, pastor, Garwin United Methodist Church Garwin, Iowa
March 1, 2013
When my carpool buddy and I were headed home in driving snow and snow/ice packed roads the other day, I had a quick prayer with the Creator for a safe journey home. He came through for us. Sitting around the house that night, grateful for making it home safely, I got to thinking about grace. Now, is it right that I consider arriving home safely (after a very earnest prayer!) as being a testament of God’s grace for me? I know it’s quite a stretch, but there’s that great verse from Amazing Grace that goes, “Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come, ‘tis grace that’s brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.” I heard those words while driving that car. I surely was thankful for getting home safe, but was it right to think of it as God’s grace? The thing is, grace is so much more than a safe delivery home from a perilous journey. While grace does apply with the reward at the end of our journey called life, it has so much more to do with the journey itself. The great aspect of grace is the mercy that is at its foundation. We go through our lives giving it our best effort, but as humans we make mistakes. Too often we let those mistakes eat at our self-worth. Our next thought is to think that we’re just not worthy of forgiveness. But it’s important that we show a little mercy on ourselves. It’s a hard thing to do, but it requires that we hear what God has to say about us. The Good News is that He won’t say ‘shame on you.’ God is not interested in perpetuating a cycle of unworthiness. His desire for each of us is to remember who we are – His son or daughter. He loved us long before there was any sin or guilt in our lives. If we keep in mind that He loved us enough to send His son for our deliverance, that He has grace for us beyond measure, we can see ourselves for who we really are – children of a king. It makes for a pleasant journey, doesn’t it? Have a blessed day. See you in church.
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