By Kristen Johnson
When we think about the ocean on a calm day, we may think of serenity, the calm sound of the water, and the peace that comes when we close our eyes and think of a good memory. It’s what we might think of when we think of grace – the free gift of salvation and forgiveness given to us by God if we choose to accept it.
My minister today spoke about the wonder of God’s grace and how God is continually waiting on us to come back into relationship with him. It was a marvelous sermon about how God celebrates when just one person comes into the fold.
Luke 15:7 (NRSV): 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
On today’s 15th anniversary of the attacks in the U.S. of September 11th, of course we remember. And, no doubt, those memories are filled with a lot of anger and fear. But, how we move forward is what is important now. Imagining forgiveness and peace is difficult, and I imagine it can only be done with God’s help – and God’s grace.
Mark 11:25 (NRSV): 25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”
John 14:27 (NRSV): 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
What’s amazing about forgiveness and peace is that it frees us. Today’s sermon included a little bit of the history of the man who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace. At one time, the author of this beautiful hymn was a slave trader. Eventually he gave up his profession, accepted God’s grace, and became an Anglican priest.
How lucky we are to have access to God’s grace and forgiveness. How blessed we are to be able to forgive. How loved we are to be able to accept peace on a day like today.
Serve all with love.
Photo courtesy of: Gratisography