Thought for the Week – What is Grace? (Scheduled summer reflection by Rev Gayle Taylor)

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13 v 14

This is “The Grace” from the bible that we say at the end of meetings often in the church. It’s a prayer, a blessing, a formula for taking leave of each other. But if that is “The Grace” then what is Grace. I always remember being told in a church when I was younger that Grace is: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. It’s a nice mnemonic but it takes us into quite heavy theological territory that most people switch off from. The other thing that comes to mind is the word “graceful”. This is a bit more tangible as we think of swans or ballerinas but then, does that make us think most of us are NOT very graceful! I think we are, at times, we are full of grace.

Grace, for me, is a word that is hard to define but as an action, as a way of treating each other, it is easy to spot. I can think of many times when someone graciously let someone else speak or do something when they themselves could have taken taken over. I have been in meetings when grace entered the proceedings as someone admitted they were wrong or asked for help. And I have often been gracefully given another chance by colleagues, friends and family when I myself have made a mess of things.

This week, think of a time when grace has entered your circumstances and transformed a situation. Pray that you might have more grace in your approach to others and that in turn, they may be gracious to you. Here’s a prayer that I think helps very much with that:

This week’s prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Neibhur.

This week’s music: