I was 15 years old, and it was my job to make supper for my family that Saturday. I left the house in the morning, with plans to go downtown, to the library and shopping, and then return by 3:00, in plenty of time to make the lasagna that was on the menu. All the ingredients were laid out on the counter.
I won’t lay out all the misadventures that happened to me that day, but the long and the short of it was that I ended up walking into the house at 5:30 with a feeling of dread. Everyone was coming home expecting to find supper on the table, and I knew I was going to get into trouble for not doing my job.
My dad was the only one home, sitting in the kitchen, and I plopped down at the table next to him, trying to avoid the questioning look he was giving me. “I have had such a bad day, and I know everyone is going to be mad at me for not making supper,” and I promptly burst into tears.
My dad was all compassion, insisting that I looked tired, that I needed to lay down and that he would make supper. Half an hour later I heard him talking to my mom, who was very angry, and him insisting that I was not to be given a hard time.
When I think of the word “grace”, that incident came to mind this week. Grace is love freely given. Grace is not being held accountable, even though you should be. Grace is the feeling of relief you get, when the bad thing you expected, turns into something wonderful instead. All because someone loves you.
This week I’m starting a sermon series on “Word to live by”. In the next couple of weeks I’ll be unpacking religious words that we use fairly often, to make sure we know what they mean. Words like “grace”.
This week’s prayer: God of grace, thank you that you are the great Gifter, offering us more than we can ask or imagine, even when we don’t deserve it. Help us to be grace-ful people, in the name of Jesus. Amen.