Monday, May 03, 2010

More Grace in the Grace

This is ordinary bread and wine. It was made with human hands that will one day be dust in a grave. There is no power in these elements of themselves. But we confess what God says happens at this table, at this meal. Here, when this bread is taken, when we give thanks for it, break it, distribute it and eat it, we confess and believe that Holy Spirit feeds us with the crucified and risen flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when this wine has been taken, when we give thanks for it, distribute it and drink it, the Holy Spirit feeds us with the blood of Jesus Christ for our joy and life and salvation. But what we do here is a microcosm of what we do everywhere. Man does not live by bread alone. In parenting, we take our ordinary hands, ordinary words, ordinary hugs, ordinary spanks, ordinary laughter, ordinary love, and we confess that the Holy Spirit turns those ordinary elements into grace that we cannot fathom. In other words, the ordinary is not as ordinary as we often think. The ordinary is actually bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. As we offer up our lives, our children, our parenting, our families, all that we are – as we offer them up in thanksgiving and then go about our normal tasks in faith, God promises to take these ordinary things and glorify them, transfigure them into glories that we cannot imagine. But this doesn’t mean then that it doesn’t matter what we do as parents or children or siblings. Shall we sin that grace may abound? Real labor went into these gifts of bread and wine. Someone kneaded flower, smashed grapes, formed and bottled. And it’s not like we do our part and God does His, it isn’t an 80/20 deal or a 90/10. It’s all grace, but there’s grace even in the grace. Just when you thought you had reached the bottom of God’s goodness you find another galaxy of grace in the same place. God gives us hands and feet, mouths and eyes, all gifts, all grace, ordinary grace. But there’s more grace in the grace; it’s bigger on the inside because the Spirit always makes room for more. So come, eat, drink, and rejoice, and trust the Spirit to work in and through this meal and then to follow you out into your lives.

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