May 30, 2013
Jesus said, “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
A couple weeks ago, our family experienced a potentially disastrous situation. Our six-year-old grandson decided to walk seven miles from school home one day. Waylan slipped away without a teacher knowing, crossed the main highway by himself and was headed towards his house through the Reedsburg Industrial Park.
Rick’s son, Darran, hauls milk. It had been a frustrating day, with delay after delay. He headed for home much later than expected. The Foremost plant is in the Industrial Park. Driving down Dewey Street, he noticed a little boy walking by himself. At one point, the boy ducked behind a tree. After driving by the tree, he decided he to stop and see what was going on.
Imagine the emotion Darran experienced when he realized the little boy behind the tree was HIS SON. He didn’t know whether to hug him to death or give him a piece of his mind. Darran called his wife and prevented her from going into hysteria when Waylan didn’t get off the school bus. He admitted it was a good thing he got the school principle’s voice mail when he called the school. He was in a more reasonable state when they talked later.
There are several examples of grace in this story. What if Darran had not been delayed and driving down Dewey Street right at that time? When Waylan saw his Dad’s milk truck, he knew he would get into trouble if caught. But he did not see the danger of walking home by himself. Nor does he know how far seven miles is. But he was on the right path. Fortunately, Darran discovered Waylan and not someone who might have taken advantage of the situation.
I’ve been exploring grace on Sunday mornings for several weeks. We considered how God extends grace to us over and over and never gives up on us. When we have discovered God’s grace, we are to extend grace to others out of gratitude of what Jesus has done for us.
Through this series, several people have shared with me situations they are dealing with in which grace is difficult. Sometimes others question why Christians share grace. Too often we want justice for others but mercy for ourselves. Yet, at some point, should not there be accountability and knowledgement of the grace we have received by God and others?
When Darran talked with the principle, the principle was concerned why Waylan decided to walk home. Darran invited him to discover the “how” and he would explore the “why.” For Christians, grace is extended to us through Christ’s death on the cross when Jesus assumes all responsibility for our sin. Why? Because God loves you so much that God wants to make God’s kingdom completely available to you. What an amazing definition of grace.
Sometimes we choose a path that takes us into potentially dangerous situations. Sometimes we duck and hide from your love, Almighty God. Yet, your grace comes to us with no strings attached. It is so much harder for us to extend grace and model your example. Continue to help us discover your understanding of grace. Amen