Scripture Reading: Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. –Romans 4:1-5
“Daddy, Daddy look what I did! I tied my shoes today all by myself. Watch see how I can do it!” This young girl is on the road to becoming fully the person God created her to be. God expects that of all of us and it has nothing whatsoever to do with earning God’s love. In our “what’s in it for me” world that is a little hard to understand.
Doing something because it is simply the right thing to do seems to be in short supply today. At times, it appears some feel they have a license to do whatever evil crosses their minds. I am sure most of us experience a flash of anger, perhaps based on fear, when someone cuts us off while driving but we do not chase them down and kill them for it. On the other hand, many are blessed while having a bad day by a saint who simply holds a door for us or picks up a package we have dropped. There is a bit of righteousness in both not responding in kind or worse to evil and in developing the art of kindness in everything we do.
There is a story of hell and heaven, The Allegory of the Long Spoons, where a person is given a tour of both. In hell, he sees people starving while setting before a banquet table full of food. The problem was their spoons were too long for them to bring the food to their mouths. In heaven, he sees the same scene where all are well fed. Using the same sized spoons, each person feeds the neighbor across from him or her.
God’s grace is not only a gift for all God’s children, it is a model for our way of being.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of your grace. Infuse us with your love so that we can be graceful toward others. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.