As I have said before, my children think I am a nerd because I actually like to go back and read the literary classics I should have embraced more in high school and college. Recently, I picked up a copy of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is historical fiction set in 17th century puritan New England. The story revolves around the adulterous affair between the local minister and Hester Prynne, and the child that resulted. What strikes you about this period of time was just how harsh, judgmental, and ungracious people of this era were toward struggling and flawed sinners. The whole culture, including civil and religious leaders, forced her to wear a “Scarlet A” on her chest as a constant reminder of her very public shame. We know they possessed the same 39 books of the Bible we do, so you wonder if they ever read John chapter 11? Let him who is without sin cast the first stone! That is not to say we are to be lax about sin because every sin every one of us commits, breaks the heart of God! But where is the grace? What about taking a look at ourselves before casting a condemning gaze toward others?
Personally, I am glad our SPBC family has “SHOWING GRACE-SHARING CHRIST-BUILDING BELIEVERS” as our mission statement, because we want to be a gracious church. We want to came alongside flawed, struggling sinners, and try and help them get to where they need to be. Why? Because we know we ourselves are flawed, struggling sinners trying to find God’s way and we need people to come alongside us and help us sometimes.
“For by grace..” we have ALL been saved. Grace is God’s undeserved favor! Grace is God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense! Grace is something we do not deserve and can never earn! Be thankful for Psalm 103: 8 which says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” He certainly knows I am a recipient of this grace and I know I need to pass it on to others!