Wed, September 26, 2018 - There Is Grace in Your Life
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them." Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and curing diseases everywhere.
“...and curing diseases everywhere”...? That is a pretty nonchalant way to account for a wave of miracles sweeping over the countryside, is it not? When telling an event of such extraordinary character, I probably would not spend ink to describe the packing list, but would instead flesh out more the fact that simple men upended the laws of nature “everywhere.”
Luke apparently has a different intention. He was certainly aware of the unparalleled supernatural power which he described so soberly. And yet, he made a point of the circumstances precisely because he wanted to teach his reader a lesson. The grace which Christians bring into the world does not rely on mere method, nor on provisions, human resources, or sensational feeds. Miracles are worked precisely in the vulnerable air of the pilgrim, he who is under way, he who is cultivating the awareness of being held in God's hands, he who is seeking his life by leaving it behind. What Luke is highlighting is this: grace is essentially God's doing. If you want to allow it to work you need to give Him space.
When was the last time you pointed to the sky and applauded God for being awesome? [Do not roll your eyes, I mean it quite literally]. Regardless of how you expresses it physically, reminding yourself frequently that He is at work, that His providence is so detailed and benevolent helps. In fact, the disciples returned from their successful mission praising God - of course they were. And the surprising disproportion between their preparation and the results was probably underlining the sensation of it being “free,” that is “gratuitous,” - gracious - as much as it must appear to the reader of Luke's account. What other way to react but applauding God for it?
There is grace in your life. Much of it is obvious: being redeemed, being invited to His Table every day, being forgiven time and again, counting with many blessings and talents… Other graces can be overlooked: big things like being alive, small things like an encouraging smile by a friend. All of these are gratuitous. We often only consider their natural causes, quite as if the disciples would have claimed that their healings were the result of their good footwear. Ridiculous! Nothing good in life is possible without His grace. Every so often, He takes away some natural goods or means to help us redirect our hope in His grace. The really important things in life - both for your own happiness and for bringing light to others - those you cannot provide for yourself. Do you believe that? In order to deepen in this conviction, be watchful today and applaud Him for all the good and gracious things with which He blesses you today.