Column: The mystery of grace

The owner, I assume, of a plumbing company advertised the business by posting a sign on the side of his truck that read: “There is no place too deep, too dark or too dirty for us to handle.”  

Wow, I thought, what a great endorsement for that anonymous company, but the more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that it’s also a profound theological statement.  

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For people who have been in the church for years or decades, the word “grace” can become almost trite. Please forgive me if that statement sounds offensive and I agree, it is, but in all honesty, to many that’s what it’s become. The more I thought about that great endorsement for that anonymous plumbing company, the more I’m convinced that it speaks of the basis of our Christian belief.  

For the past many years, I read through my Bible once every 12 months. Each day, week, month and year I discover something new; thank God that I’ve never found it to be “routine” or boring, but lately I’ve never been quite as astounded by the grace of God.  

Reading about the lives of Old Testament men such as David and Solomon floor me: in spite of God’s goodness to them and in spite of their desire to please Him, they descend into horrid behaviour. Adultery. Greed. Murder. They end up reaping the rewards of their behaviour but also of experiencing God’s forgiveness and second chances. And, what about us and our weaknesses? 

“The law condemns the best of us but grace saves the worst of us.” (Joseph Prince) 

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace, only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” (Anne Lamont) 

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.” (John Newton, former slave trader) 

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