The note that Lutherans sing in the ecumenical choir is GRACE. Yes, it was grace the Martin Luther discovered 500 years ago. It was the freedom, the forgiveness, and the liberation of grace that allowed him in a medieval world to stand up and shout at his church that it missed the point. It was grace that made all the difference in the world and, if you think about it, in our own heart. Where would I be today without grace? Let me tell you – in deep trouble.
One of my favorite quotes is by Frederick Buechner:
“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”
I am also reminded of Lutheran pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who coined the term “cheap grace” Grace that is found but unappreciated; grace without cost, discipleship or a thankful heart; grace that is taken for granted and not lived out in service. We cheapen God’s grace when we don’t find it to be an inspiration that leads us to greater service. The world is full of people who have cheapened God’s grace.
It’s a gift of grace to be able to worship, in community with one another. Join me on Sunday.