Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Venti Caffinated Grace

In Luke 6 Christ teaches that:  "someone takes your cloak (or coffee pot--Carol Translation), do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you."

Grace:  a cornerstone of Christian faith.  The unmerited mercy and kindness God shows us through the work of Christ.  But what about small doses of uncommon grace, granting favor that which we don't deserve, a gift or even a gesture, beyond our ability to earn or repay?  The power to bless the recipient with a freely given act from the giver.

You shall NOT (Carol emphasis) steal.  Exodus 20:15

I stole a pot of coffee.  At church.  Stealing is wrong, but at church it seems particularly wrong.  Ms. B  had provided coffee for her council meeting, and in typical Ms. B. fashion had left the unused portion in a gathering spot for all the classes to enjoy.  Flash to my classroom, where the coffee pot and coffee can sit empty.  Once the class hour began I tip toed to the main area, snagged the coffee and returned victorious to my group.

About 5 minutes later, Ms. B. slipped into my class to retrieve the pot, I was caught red handed. I muttered a lame apology--you know the one that is packaged in an excuse and wrapped with an explanation about normally having it, but running out...also muttered without making any eye contact, like a puppy who is caught.   I am sure she did not hear any of my ramblings, and I returned to my teaching on temptation--file under irony. 

About 3 minutes later Ms. B. was back with the coffee pot, full of fresh coffee for the to enjoy a second hot cup.

Uncommon, common grace.  I deserved a scolding, or a stern look or at the very least a pursed lip and exasperated sigh.  I receive a hot fresh pot of joe for my class with a smile and a word of encouragement about the growth of the group.  Unearned and much more than I deserved.  Uncommon grace.

A simple act left a strong impression. 

What if that was the rule of Christian expression, not the delightful exception?

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Roswell, GA
Loves to find the answers to three questions of a sound Bible study: what does it say, what does it mean, what difference does it make?