One of the perks of my job as a Chaplain is watching the kids during Chapel services. Eucharists are my favorite. I love to watch them come to the altar. I love to see the variety of expressions and reactions as they receive the body and blood.
Yesterday I was blessed with watching them come to the altar, not once, but twice, for ashes and Eucharist. And I did not offer the chalice; I just enjoyed the view.
It was a beautiful view!
One particular interaction spoke to me. There was a second grader at the end of the line who didn’t have a space to kneel. A fellow classmate, about four from the end, saw her standing behind him. He motioned to her and shifted to make room.
It was a simple action, one of common courtesy, but it made me think. How often do we shift to make room for someone else to get closer to Jesus? Or rather, how often do we stay firmly planted and block someone else from seeing Jesus more clearly? How often do our actions prevent someone else from receiving the love of Christ?
May we make room for those who seek the love of God!
Prayer Focus: Those seeking a closer relationship with God this Lent.
My soul is saddened. Kelly Gissendaner was executed by lethal injection in the early hours today. Despite a letter from the Pope and countless hours of appeals, Kelly’s earthly journey is over.
I became aware of Kelly’s story through a friend and mentor of mine who had the privilege to watch her life transform as she accepted Christ. Kelly became a valuable part of the prison community, sharing with other inmates her journey from sin to salvation. She even graduated from special prison theology program through Emory.
It doesn’t matter if we agree or disagree on the death penalty. Kelly was a child of God. She knew she had sinned. She also knew she was forgiven. As the drugs were administered, she apologized, prayed, and sang “Amazing Grace.”
Indeed, God’s grace is amazing! It is there for you and me, and Kelly.
May we remember God’s Amazing Grace today!
Prayer focus: Those on death row, that they may find God’s grace.
Scripture: Romans 3:23-24
In the first century, Roman execution by cross was common place. The soldiers who carried out the sentences were dangerously good at their jobs. Criminals were dealt with in a violent, calculated way that ensured a drawn-out and painful death. To be executed or to have a family executed was disgraceful and a mark of shame.
Like in everything else he did, Jesus changed all that. The cross went from a symbol of man’s disgrace to a symbol of God’s grace, displaying his love for humanity.
What we view as disgraceful, God views as an opportunity for grace.
Where do you need God’s grace to redeem your disgrace?
May we always seek God’s grace!
Prayer Focus: Those who are burdened with shame.
Scripture: Romans 8:28