Third Saturday of Advent – Grace

December 22, 2018

Matthew 2:16-17

Matthew 2:16, “When Herod knew the magi had fooled him, he grew very angry. He sent soldiers to kill all the children in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding territory who were two years old and younger…”

Grace:

• unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

• a virtue coming from God

• a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

• a special favor

• disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

• a temporary exemption

• a charming or attractive traitor characteristic

• a pleasing appearance or effect

• ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

• a short prayer at a meal asking a blessing or giving thanks

• the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful

When I hear the word “grace” it can produce more than one visual for me, the most obvious is God’s Grace! One of my favorite verses is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul is speaking to Jesus and he writes these words, “He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me.”

The word “grace” appears in the New Testament more than 100 times depending on the translation. This tells me it’s an important word and we should pay attention to it, know what is means and why it’s mentioned so often.

Grace cannot be bought or sold, it can’t really be earned. It is extended to people out of love and kindness. God extends grace to each of us and not one of us deserves it. We can extend grace to others, our family and our friends because we love them no matter what happens or doesn’t happen. As the dictionary definition puts it, Grace is a virtue coming from God!

In today’s, reading the writer of the pamphlet revealed something new to me that I had never before realized. She shows the similarities of Moses and Jesus’ stories. In both cases, child genocide occurs, in Moses story it was the Pharaoh who had all the male children born to Hebrew women killed, because the number of Israelites was outnumbering the Egyptians. The story is recorded in Exodus 1:15-22. In the story of Jesus, it’s Herod who orders the deaths of male children two years and young put to death in today’s scripture Matthew 2:16. In both of these stories, God’s plan prevailed. God used these horrific events to save His people. He provided salvation for His children. I had never thought of these two significant stories as similar but they are and they show the power of God and His keen sense of always providing for His children. God’s grace saved Moses, and Jesus when they were only infants. God is continuing His reconciliation with mankind still today, more than two thousand years after Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Salvation is still being extended and God’s Grace is sufficient for all. I am becoming more acutely aware that I need and desire to extend more grace to people in my life. In some cases the motivation isn’t that they deserve it but that I don’t deserve it either and we are all doing the best we can, my goal for 2019 is to be more loving, more kind, more forgiving and to share more grace. None of us are perfect and we all need grace.

Thank you for sharing this Advent journey with me, may the Lord bless you and keep you now and forevermore.

Prayer: Oh Savior, May your plan of salvation deliver me from evil. Amen.

~Peace and Blessings~

References:

The C. S. Lewis Bible NRSV

The Holy Bible CEB

https://www.biblegateway.com

www.abingdonpress.com

https://www.merriam-webster.com

https://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_WordCount.htm

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Exodus%201:15-22&version=C

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