I’ve been doing some thinking and reflecting lately on the theme of grace in my life. I’ve been challenged to look at areas of my life that grace has appeared on more than one occasion. I’m learning that grace is essential to my ministry as a pastor to the people I come in contact with and walk alongside with in ministry. What if the same very people you serve are also learning what it means to show grace? What if grace is difficult to show in the midst of ones weakness? How about those who have a difficult time receiving grace knowing that it’s from upon high?
We are recipients of grace from upon high. Jesus is the essence of grace. As a youth pastor I’ve come to learn this over the years that my role is to show grace to those students who have never met grace face to face. I’m called to be grace to those who have a hard time showing grace. I’m especially called to be grace to parents. I’ve found that my greatest mountain to climb in youth ministry over the years is showing grace to parents who also haven’t really seen and experienced the grace found in a relationship with Christ and who’ve encountered and received his grace found at the cross. Parents who I wish I could bonk on the head when I witness their feeble attempts at being people of grace with their own kids. I then recall my responsibility to be grace to our own kids. Recognizing their need for their father and mother to show much grace during these times of change and transition from being our babies to adolescence.
If I could rewind the clock of my ministry over the years I’d make a couple of changes. I’d become bold in the way I show grace. I’d step out in faith and with courage. I’d jump into those places where grace has never been. I’d walk alongside those within the church universal who could use some grace because of the lack of grace they receive from their friends, family, and society. I’d be a maverick and rebellous when it came to showing and giving the church grace.
I’m a firm believer that the church would become the church if it recognized its lack of grace when it came to loving the people of God. The church would become the church if recognized the need to receive the Lords grace filled love and moved toward imitating his grace to those places that have never seen or touched grace. In this pursuit of being a person of grace I’d become a husband and father who let grace overflow. (Knowing especially that my bride has given me way too much grace and that I don’t deserve the grace she has shown me in my own feeble attempts of being grace to her) I’d become a father who models grace to my kids in order that they’d become people of grace with their friends. I’d be a pastor who would be grace even to those who disagreed with me.
If grace existed wouldn’t the community of God, the people of God be able to manage through the mire of sinfulness? Wouldn’t we the church if grace were modeled, imitated, and expressed in acts of love be a place where people were affirmed, accepted, and received for who they were as broken individuals in need of grace and wouldn’t then those who encountered the grace of the Savior than go out into the world to be messengers of grace?