Grace is a gift: the unmerited favor of God. It isn”t payment for services rendered. As sinners, our wage is death. To save us from such wages, Jesus gave us the gift of his life, rose to life, and overcame death.
Human history led to this moment. Christ”s disciples handled that incarnate word who was preparing to ascend to his father. He would send the Holy Spirit to fill us with his light. He rose into Jerusalem skies, and all fear of the future was removed. The world changed as these saints brought the message of Jesus to those who were hungry for the way to God.
Where is that hunger today? We are filled to bursting with things, rich foods, bright images, closets full of toys and gadgets. A song once intoned: “Streets full of people, all alone; Rows full of houses, never home; Church full of singing, out of tune; Everyone”s gone to the moon? Hearts full of motors, painted green; Mouths full of chocolate-covered cream; Hands that can only lift a spoon; Everyone”s gone to the moon.”
It”s a lobotomized dream, The Matrix made real, our senses bombarded to where we can”t hear or see or feel a thing. We are anaesthetized into an evil slumber. It”s a world almost not worth damning.
But there are real people here. And for real people Jesus came. His story has your name on it, so there is more yet to tell. God is ready to write more of the story, when it happens and you live your part of the great story. That”s the gift: God includes your life in his story. But you need to come alive and come out of this world of dazed and besotted dreams, and live, truly live before the true and only God.
Rev. Peter F. Hansen is rector of St. Augustine of Canterbury Anglican Church in Chico.