As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God in whatever way that may take place.
Galatians 2:1-10 (NRSV)
Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. I went up in response to a revelation. Then I laid before them (though only in a private meeting with the acknowledged leaders) the gospel that I proclaim among the Gentiles, in order to make sure that I was not running, or had not run, in vain. But even Titus, who was with me, was not compelled to be circumcised, though he was a Greek. But because of false believers secretly brought in, who slipped in to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might enslave us— we did not submit to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might always remain with you. And from those who were supposed to be acknowledged leaders (what they actually were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those leaders contributed nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel for the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter making him an apostle to the circumcised also worked through me in sending me to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who were acknowledged pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. They asked only one thing, that we remember the poor, which was actually what I was] eager to do.
The word for grace in Greek, χαρις, appears about 175 times in the Greek New Testament. When we see the word grace in the New Testament, we should think of two basic ideas. First, it is freely given for all. It is not just a lucky few who are chosen. There is no scarcity of grace. There is no danger of it running out before we receive it. Sharing grace with the poor and suffering does not diminish grace; it increases and strengthens grace. Each day look for at least one person with whom you can share God’s grace.
We sing, “There is a wideness in God’s mercy and grace like the wideness of the sea.” God’s grace is sufficient for all and all sufficient for our needs. The second notable thing about grace in the New Testament is that it is unmerited. It is not something we can earn or deserve by being good. It is just as freely given to the vilest sinner as it is to the purest saint.
We all make mistakes.
We all stumble sometimes.
But God’s grace is stronger than our fears
and our uncertainties.
God, mend these broken parts of our wings.
Carry us through the darkest moments.
Guide us to see that every storm ends with
When our strength seems to be failing,
Fill us with your infinite resolve.
Be with us, hold us tight.
Never let us go.
Thank you for your grace.
Thank you for loving us.
Go with God.