Friday, March 7, 2014

The Expected Gift

In 2005, our hospital celebrated its 30th anniversary.  The week of the big celebration, my family and I were on vacation in Washington, DC.  When I returned to work I was told I had to go down to Administration.

This was an edict no one wanted to hear, it rarely meant something good.  However, the sly look my boss gave me made me think perhaps this was one of those rare days.

When I went to Administration, I was escorted into the Boardroom and noticed the large table was covered with gift bags.  I was handed a bag and thanked for being an employee of the hospital.  When I opened the bag I found a beautifully cut glass engraved with the hospital's name and the year.  But the best was inside the glass.

Inside each glass, in each bag, was a clean, crisp fifty dollar bill.  This was the hospital's way of saying "Thank you."  I was surprised and, of course, very pleased.

I thought of this the other day when the topic turned to grace.

Grace is us getting something we don't deserve, something unexpected.  Mercy is us not getting what we do deserve.  So many of the New Testament epistles begin with a salutation of grace and mercy.

2 John 1:3
Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Son of the Father in truth and love.

There is nothing we can ever do to deserve God's grace, it is His unmerited favor toward those who believe in His Son.  There is no way we can ever understand the depths of His mercy to us.  All we can do is to fall on our knees and thank the Lord that He is Who He is, a God of peace, grace and mercy to us all.

Ephesians 2:4,5
But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, 
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;)

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