October 14, 2018
Some years ago, there was a British conference on comparative religions. Experts from around the world debated whether any beliefs were unique to the Christian faith. They began to eliminate possibilities: The incarnation? No… God in human form? No…. Resurrection? No. The debate went on for some time until C.S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s going on,” he asked. They explained the question—what, if anything, is Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. “That’s easy,” he said. It’s grace.”
My mission group is reading Philip Yancey’s book, What’s So Amazing About Grace? I want to share from this book and then pose some questions about our response to God’s grace.
The notion of God’s love, coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against all of our instincts. But in Christianity, God’s love is unconditional. Perhaps aware of our in-built resistance to grace, Jesus talked about it a lot: the sun shines on people both good and bad; birds gather seeds for free without plowing or harvesting; unattended wildflowers flourish. Jesus saw grace everywhere. He didn’t analyze it. He didn’t define it. He almost never used the word. But he conveyed grace through stories – what we know as parable.