“The Hidden Miracle of Christmas”
What does grace feel like? A warm embrace? A forgiving parent? A loyal friend? Grace is one of those esoteric Christian words that is hard to explain. Well, here goes.
John 1 tells us that Jesus is the fullness of grace and truth. Fullness means that Jesus isn’t half-grace, half-truth but really 100 percent grace and 100 percent truth. This paradox is hard to wrap our minds around. I picture a glass with two pitchers of water, one filled with grace and the other with truth. Intuitively, I would think God would pour half grace and half truth into the glass. In reality, however, God stands there, perhaps with a grin, and pours both pitchers, the whole pitchers, into the glass until it’s overflowing, making a huge mess. This is the fullness of grace and truth.
What do we do with grace? Grace is that unmerited mercy and favor we find in the world. It has small beginnings, like an 8-year-old girl giving up her seat for a pregnant woman on the bus. It can be subtle, like leaving a big tip for a barista struggling to make ends meet. Or it can be dramatic, like hosting hundreds of homeless friends for Christmas supper. But no matter how it is given, grace is never deserved. We don’t deserve grace, and yet we receive it. Should we not also be giving grace to those that don’t deserve it?
Being a Jesus follower means that grace is in us. It means we get to lean into that revolutionary love, that undeserved grace. By the time our brains recognize that we have sinned and should seek forgiveness, Jesus has forgiven us dozens of times over. Why? Because Jesus is the fullness of grace. Grace doesn’t care if you are conservative or progressive or if you grew up Christian or are just now seeking God. Grace is freely available from now to eternity. Grace has no favorites, knows no limit, and sees no end.
This Christmas, ask yourself, “Where have I experienced God’s grace?” Reflect on that. You’ll be surprised to realize that you experience grace every single day. Look for it. I promise it’s there. You just have to find it. And, once you do, the overwhelming miracle of Christmas, of the born Christ, full of grace and truth, will be that much more magical.