Getting Ahead of God

Hope in the Dark

Grace sounds great…when we’re on the receiving end of it. But the thing is being on the receiving end of grace makes it hard for us to realize just how costly it is to give grace. As Jarrod said in the sermon, giving grace is hard because, by definition, it means giving someone something good in return for something bad. The apostle Peter put it this way: “Do not repay evil with evil…repay evil with a blessing.” It is precisely this kind of grace God calls us to show to others, not simply because God has shown this kind of grace to us, but because this kind of grace is at the core of who God is. God is love, and part of what that means is that God is a God of grace. So God invites us to be partners in writing grace stories in the lives of others, stories in which the bad choices others make do not define their future, our future, or the future. Instead, the grace of God opens up the possibility for a new story, a better story, in which the grace of God binds us together in an unlikely relationship: brothers and sisters whose shared DNA is God’s grace.

The following videos and reflection questions are meant to help guide us on this journey of continual transformation into people who join God in showing grace.

Liturgy – Brother

Before you watch this video, ask God to reveal to you the face of an enemy while you watch.

Now pause for a few minutes of quiet contemplation, asking God to help you see the enemy revealed to you as a brother or sister.

Refugees

If, like me, you find it challenging to see your enemies as brothers or sisters, this next video offers a helpful clue to overcoming this challenge.

Take a moment to think through how you might find a way to sit across from the enemy you picture earlier so that you might look them in the eye and allow God to work the miracle of breaking down each of your defenses so you might see each other through the eyes of grace.

Grace: An Unexpected Friendship

Questions for Reflection

1. In what ways does this story unsettle you?

2. In what ways does this story inspire you?

3. What difference does it make if forgiveness (as an act of grace) is not just for my sake or your sake but for our sake?

4. What can you do this week to begin to show grace for our sake to the person you pictured earlier as an enemy?

More Heart, Less Attack

May this song serve as a blessing on your life this week, that you might be a person of grace rather than judgment, a person who is more heart and less attack.


Hope in the Dark Playlist

There’s still time to check out this playlist of songs based on the themes of Jonah’s story.