Unexpected Grace

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                     March 5, 2016

                                       

     I’m preaching on grace tomorrow morning, perhaps my favorite subject to dwell upon. We sing an abundance of songs about it…”Amazing Grace”…”Wonderful Grace of Jesus”…Matt Maher’s recent song “Your Grace is Enough”, and Michael W. Smith’s song simply entitled “Grace.”

Grace seems to be a dominant theme pattern in song writers.

And yet in other aspects of our culture, and in the churches that sing about grace, it is given lip service, but rarely put into action and decisions.

Perhaps I’m becoming cynical as I age, but I’ve been at a lot of basketball games lately. I’ve witnessed too many spectators, mostly parents, who are verbally abusive and grace-less. Some may say that it’s simply because I’m talking about a sporting event, and grace is not a part of sports.

I wholeheartedly disagree. Years ago I coached a junior high boy’s basketball team in a Saturday morning church basketball league. Let me just say this! We were several points short of pitiful! My best player, Jimmy Michaels, broke his wrist in the first game of the season. The team instantly went from being short to shorter and short on talent. The boys had matching jerseys and they all had their shoes tied properly, but every Saturday that was as good as it got.

50-5…43-6…39-4…every Saturday morning the score was more resembling of a lock combination than a competitive basketball game.

And then we played Bethlehem Lutheran Church one Saturday. Their Associate Pastor, a guy named Noel Niemann, knew we were a team that was excited about the opportunity to play while being short on talent, and he told his team to play a zone defense that morning where everyone played inside the paint. In effect he was saying we’re going to let the boys of First Baptist shoot and help them score a few points.

Going into that game my goal for the season was to have the team score in double figures in at least one game. It hadn’t happened yet, but that day, thanks to some grace-laced defense, we scored 12! Twelve points! The boys were ecstatic! The final score was 36-12, but if Coach Noel had wanted to he could have geld us scoreless.

We didn’t earn that gift. It was freely given to us, and I’ll never forget that, even though it’s been thirty-five years since it happened.

Grace is helping someone up when there is no advantage to doing so.

And you know, it’s something that needs to be seen in our churches today, not just sung about!

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Grace, Humor, Jesus, Parenting, Pastor, Story, Teamwork, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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