Monday, March 9, 2009

Saving Grace

When does a gift become a present? We all give gifts to friends and family for all sorts of occasions. Weddings, births, deaths, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and special occasions are usually customary times to give a gift. There is a lot of thought, time, energy, and creativity that goes into picking out the perfect gift. Giving gifts are a way we express our love for one another. Many people express their love for another through giving of a gift, time, money or energy. The gift does not become a present until it is received by the recipient. The value is not complete until it has been accepted by person we love. We would not spend the time searching for the right gift, fight the crowds at the store, spend our hard earned money to purchase it, wrap it in a nice box for a wonderful presentation, and then place it on a closet, and never give it to anyone. We would not go up to a friend and say, “I bought you the best birthday present ever. You will really love it. It will make your life so much better. Every time you see it, it will remind you of my love for you and give you peace and joy as a reflection of our relationship. But, you can’t have it; I’m not going to give it to you. I decided to keep it for myself.”
We would not ever say that to someone we loved. What if those words were from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? In reality, Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection says the exact opposite. He declares to us that the gift he has for us is grace. He has prepared the gift for us, it reminds us of His love for us, and it can bring us peace, joy, love and comfort beyond our imagination. But it is up to us to receive that gift. God’s divine grace is an "unmerited favor" of God, given freely to us but we must accept and receive it for us to become complete. In theology, grace may be described as 'enabling power sufficient for progression'. We also must pass the grace on to others. We have wasted the gift of grace if we are not willing to share it with others. Grace draws unity, understanding, love, acceptance, power, and hope. Let us receive it, understand it, and share it with someone we love this time of Lent as it becomes our enabling power for progression. That is when our gift becomes a present.

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