Grace finds a way -even through this

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I am not sure how many there has been but I do know that it is too many, I have officiated quite a few funerals for babies and/or young people. Death is a reality and most of us understand it. However, when it is the death of a child it becomes much harder to wrap our heads around it. We try to find answers or rationale.

“God needed him/her more than we did”

“God wanted another angel”

“It was part of God’s plan”

I have heard these and others as reasons why something terrible has happened. I have learned to be more comfortable in the unknown and the vagueness. I find grace can be found in the acknowledgement of the pain and uncertainty and even the seeming unfairness of life. Grace is God’s gift to a hurting people and a lost people and a troubled situation.

Or maybe not! Maybe I have it all wrong. Pat Robertson is at it again! I read a story this morning where he says he would tell a grieving mother that God has a plan and could be stopping another Hitler or Stalin or the pain from a horrendous disease. So…there is that.

As I read that this morning, all I could think of were these words from Jesus, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  To me, it has always seemed clear. Children are a gift from God. We are called to draw them into the circle and love and protect them. We need to teach them of love and grace and God’s son. 

It seems simple enough to me. God loved me in spite of what I have done not because of what I have done. I am a child of God. This designation is grace filled. Grace is love played out in the world. It is God’s way to let us know that we matter. God’s plan is not devastation or heartbreak. God’s plan is for the people of God to live out real community by loving each other.

I would love to be able to sit down with Pat Robertson and share stories with him of how God’s grace has impacted me. I would love to tell him about the Jesus I know. The Jesus that has surrounded devastated families with love and grace when all seemed loss. A Jesus that would never tell them that he took their child to “stop another Hitler”.

I don’t have all the answers so I will continue to err on the side of Grace. The grace that God shows me is what I want to share with the world.

Grace matters.

Grace wins.

Grace will find a way.

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Grace Looks like this

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Paul tells us in Ephesians,  “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”.

We have been asking ourselves the question, “What does Grace look like to you?”. I have been thinking a lot about that question. I see so much disharmony happening in the world. Some days it seems harder than others to find evidences of grace in the world. We live in a world that is broken and in need of healing. Oftentimes the bad clouds over the good.

This week we have read and seen video of a pool party that seemingly got out of control and a police officer’ over the top response. We have read of  a young man who killed himself in New york after 3 years of being abused at Riker’s Island without even a trial. Our political process has ramped up with ugliness as we prepare for our next Presidential election.We have read of In the 15th chapter of the Gospel of John, Where is the Grace?

Then we find about a man from Australia called James Harrison. In a story on CNN, we learn the wonderful story of Harrison. As a young boy he ended up being kept alive by the blood donations of strangers. He made a point to become a regular blood donor as he got older. It was determined that his blood had the antibodies needed to help create a vaccine that would be given to women who would be susceptible to transferring Rhesus disease, which was often fatal, to their children. For decades, Harrison has been donating Plasma each week and by the estimation of medical people, this vaccine has saved over 2 million lives.

Millions saved by the blood of one man, Hmmm. Seems as if we have heard a story like this before.

This is what Grace looks like to me.

An Open Letter to Sam Hinkie

Sadly the editor took the day off and this was  bit rushed but take a look

Dear Sam,

It’s time. No, I mean it is really time. I have bought into “The Plan , but now it is time to move forward. You are kind of new here, so I want to give you a little history lesson.  I was ending my junior year in High School in the Spring and Summer of 1983. I remember that not because I look fondly back upon high school, but instead because it was the last time that Your OUR Sixers won the NBA championship.  Can you imagine? I don’t think you can.

Read the Rest here

http://www.crossingbroad.com/2015/06/an-open-letter-to-sam-hinkie.html