5th February 2014

A Brief Moment of Grace 

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”
Genesis 1:3-4 (NIV)

It had been a long and difficult week. It had been full of meetings with people determined to “make things happen” thorough aggression and confrontation. Tired, I sat down to breakfast on Saturday morning, knowing that more of this lay ahead in the following week. Through the window I could see dark clouds dominating the skyline. 

My wife gave a short prayer of thanks for our food. At that moment, I felt the warmth of sunlight on my face. It didn’t last long—the small break in the clouds closed up shortly afterwards. Yet, as the sun fell on my face, I was reminded of the inner workings of the Universe. No, not the atoms, forces and laws of physics that we can manipulate and bend to our will. The inner workings I considered were the grace, love and mercy of God which underpin all of creation. 

Since our expulsion from the Garden of Eden, humanity has buried this grace under a lust for power and gratification. Caught in the vicious cycle of resulting pain, we can be blinded to the good built into this world. In Genesis chapter 1, the author records that “God saw that it was good” 6 times—in verses 4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25—with a seventh concluding statement in verse 31: “God saw all that he had made and it was very good.” Wonderful! And a simple shaft of light brought this back to mind. I had experienced a moment of grace.

Genesis 2 is the story of how humanity messed this all up. It tells us why there is so much distress and misery in a world that is declared by God to be “good”. However, despite all the terrible pain and suffering, this inherent goodness remains. For the Universe continues to be sustained by the One who is described as “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). 

Sometimes, the good comes direct from God, but quite often God delivers it “indirectly”, through us. A smile for the overworked shop assistant, an offer of help to the overloaded person struggling to get on the bus, or a “thank you” to the work colleague who is having a hard time. Just a few examples of moments of grace. 

We engage in such moments because we know that goodness is in the “DNA” of this Universe. Our cooperation with God reminds others that we are not doomed to misery, pain and death. For our God is good – and through Jesus, he is at work building the world where grace, love and mercy will dominate everyones’ lives forever. 

Prayer
Our Father, we praise you for the goodness, grace and mercy that underpins all of creation. We look forward to the new universe that Jesus is preparing for us and give thanks for all the moments of grace that you send us today.
Amen
 

Study by Ian Woodley

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ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation: 
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM
NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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