Monday, December 6, 2010
This weekend it snowed. Oh, and then it snowed some more. And more. We probably got a foot in just a couple of hours. The kids had fun, and I loved taking their pictures in the fluffy white gift from the sky. I love the way snow makes things look. I love how shiny and bright it is. I love the pictures you can get in it! Don't get me wrong. I love enjoying it from the comfort of my own home! I'm not a snow bunny by any stretch of the imagination. I love flip-flops, cotton tops, sunshine and warmth. But I'm not complaining. It is December, after all, and if there's anytime for snow; this is it. But I'll enjoy it while I sit by the fire, thanks.
So, as we ventured out Sunday morning after the big storm, I was feeling very "not in the mood" to get out in the frosty weather and go to church. But, I fulfilled my pastor's-wifely duty and went. As we began Sunday School, I got my cup of coffee and sat in my regular seat. Our assistant pastor teaches the class I attend and I missed last Sunday because George was speaking at a different church. So, he was catching us up on the events of the previous week, and I was trying to follow along as he quickly spouted out the points, but was more concerned with warming my hands with my coffee cup until he entered into this Sunday's lesson.
"The church just breeds liars".
"Here in the church, we're trained to be fake".
"You're not accepted here until you meet the requirements".
Yup, he had my attention now. He went on to explain how the purpose of our meeting in this casual Sunday School format, was not even being reached. We want to break down the walls of the facade we put on in our Sunday clothes and sweet smiles, and delve into the Bible together to find truth. Truth for your life. Truth for mine.
But a cup of coffee and a few sweets to make you feel more at home will not accomplish that.
We are afraid of the true "us" that lies beneath the pretty Sunday picture, and more afraid of what someone else will think of it.
I began to wonder where he was going with all of this. He did tie it together with his previous points of what it means to "grow" as God intended it, but my mind stuck on one simple statement.
"All that's broken, ugly, or unworthy about you is covered in God's grace."
Wow! As the shapeless crown of a tree that has lost its leaves is gloriously covered in a blanket of shiny white snow, so am I covered in God's grace! And what's more as the lesson went on, we talked about how a measure of grace is given to each one of us (Ephesians 4:7) . And the real reason we meet is because I need some of that grace that you have received. And you need some of the grace that I have received, because no one man receives it all the same. Your experience demands some measure different than my own, and vice versa.
Oh that we could be gracious!
I sat and wondered at the thought. Oh to be gracious! Oh that I would see my brothers and sisters as lovely creatures covered in the beautiful blanket of his grace! Oh that they would see graciousness in me!
Covered in grace.