These are such familiar words to church goers that we very often hear them but don't fully appreciate what we are saying in response. How else do we draw the PCC meeting, quiet time or whatever church business we have been doing to a close but with"The Grace"(cfContemporary Reflections by Sheila Walker).
On Trinity Sunday when we looked at God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit - the three persons of the Trinity-it seemed appropriate to look now at the 'The Grace'.
We sign off as it were with The Grace perhaps with a sigh of relief that the meeting has finished and we can all go home-! More importantly though, we are re-affirming our commitment to the three central blessings - grace, love and fellowship - that flow from God.They are at the heart of our faith and we base our way of life on them.
You will have noticed that the order of the three persons of the Trinity is different in The Grace. Grace is always first and comes from Jesus. How else, apart from through Jesus, would we ever know what God is like? Jesus is the exact imprint of the invisible God and we are able, therefore, to understand that God is a God of love because Jesus demonstrates that love himself. We feel we know something about Jesus. We know he was a carpenter, that he enjoyed sharing meals with all sorts of people, that he was a teacher and had compassion for the sick. All these points of
reference make Jesus real to us. On the other hand his power over the elements for example when he 'stilled the storm' confused his disciples and make us aware of his absolute authority.
We ask,who is this man? Do we really know him? Could he be the powerful force of God?
It's when we come to his self giving on the cross that we realise why Jesus is who he is - the Son of God and what his mission was all about. The grace of our Lord Jesus is then, none other than the love of God. In company with all believers, we are absorbed into the divine fellowship of God by the Holy Spirit.The Spirit takes the grace of Jesus and embeds it in each of us. Through the Spirit we are loved by the Father and linked with each other in the loving fellowship of the Trinity.
When we say The Grace together, we form a continuing part of the story of God's creation; his love and care for the whole of his created order and our hope for the future as members of the redeemed fellowship of Jesus Christ. God has delivered his promise and it's now up to us to carry it onwards. Pray The Grace with renewed commitment and reap the rewards it will bring. Enjoy the next few weeks of summer and live life in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. L
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. (2 Corinthians 13:13)