Thought for the Day: As Paul listened to messengers who brought him a word from a distant church, he saw how easy it was for people to have a mistaken understanding of grace. Grace, in some circles, had become a self-congratulatory and self-inflating concept. Yet to suggest such a thing misses the glorification of Jesus, specifically from his arrest to his execution. It is not self-congratulatory or self-inflating, but self-giving and self-sacrificing. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Cost of Discipleship, wrote about cheap grace as compared to costly grace. He was deeply concerned at how cheap grace, one that accepts all the benefits without acknowledging the responsibility, was a significant impediment to the church’s mission. He wrote:
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal responsibility. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship – grace without the cross…
In today’s sermon, I reference Bonhoeffer and suggest how a growing understanding of the power and challenge of grace allows for us to better experience the Glory of God, the brilliance of God’s Light and Love.
Prayer: It is not all about me! You love me, God, with an amazing and unmerited love, yet I have come to realize how your love allows for me to see the value in every person. Suddenly, in your grace, I glimpse your glory and make room for it to live within me. There, deeply held within my heart, I can become an instrument through which your glory is shared with the world. Amen.
TODAY’S WORSHIP SERVICE
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Rev. Bruce Frogge