Beauty in Grace

READ PSALMS 34

Beauty makes no sense, it’s illogical. It serves no biological function, it doesn’t satisfy any of our primal urges. But imagine life without being able to recognise beauty? Sunsets were nothing more than light dissipation, flowers were just elaborate sexual organs, you’d marry someone purely because of there genetic hardiness. If life was without beauty, the earth may as well be one giant concrete tennis court.

We take our ability to enjoy and appreciate and receive beauty for granted – but what if beauty is God’s big neon sign yelling at us? And when our beauty detector which God has put within us see’s something else that God has made with the beauty gene in it – it creates this chemical-spiritual-emotional reaction that lets us know that there must be a creator who’s orchestrating this show called life.

Ok, so why the penguins? Because today we’re talking about the Beauty of Grace. Penguins are the greatest clash of ideas – on the land they are one of the clumsiest, impractical animals on earth. Beautiful – but also hopeless in some ways.

But when they get into the water – when a bird that can’t fly and lives on ice takes a breath and jumps into the ocean – they are the most graceful creatures God has ever made. Looking at them on land you would never have guessed… but water allows them to be the best they can be,

So what is grace? Grace isn’t static or still – for someone to have Grace it means there has to be movement, motion, flow. A penguin under the water staying still isn’t graceful – more likely it’s just dead! But it’s from the fluent motions as it ducks and dives and glides that we see Grace.

The same goes for God’s grace towards us. Our world has this idea that we can be self-sufficient – that we can do things on our own, that we don’t need to reply on others… Ultimately that we can impress God into loving us or letting us into heaven or whatever by what we do and how we act.

It may hurt our ego’s, but God’s Grace towards us has nothing to do with us – it’s something he’s given to us. It’s a simple exchange – if we choose to trust him, then he will look after our short fallings. The hardest thing for us is accepting that he’s got us covered. Yes, we have to keep up our end of the bargain by continuing to trust in him – but gods Grace can handle whatever we have to throw at him.

You know how on the bottom of your power bill when you pay late you have this Grace period of a few days before they start hitting you with late payment fees? That’s not really a Grace period at all! God’s grace doesn’t give you a few days where he’ll turn a blind eye, but then sting you with interest if you haven’t paid up. For us Grace means being willing to give up our control complex and to let God foot the bill.

That’s why people say grace before they eat – because as hard as we might try and work and think and cultivate, the food on the table couldn’t have happened without God doing most of the work. We say grace because we’re grateful for something that we don’t deserve and didn’t earn. Worship is like saying Grace to God for life.

And just like the Penguins in the water – God’s grace isn’t static, but it’s something in motion. It flows through us – and for us to accept Gods grace we need to continue the flow of Grace… this flow is broken when you accept God’s grace and then trea the people around you like shit. If you do that you’re damming up God’s grace when you should be letting it flow through you.

You know, when we live like we can pull off life without God we’re like clumsy penguins waddling on ice… we fool ourselves into thinking we’re self-sufficient – that we’re an island – and even if we don’t say that we certainly live like it.

But when we decide to accept the grace of God, when we talk the first plunge into God’s grace like those baby penguins at the end and decide to swim in God’s flow of grace…even if we’re not very good at it to start with – that’s when life become s beautiful, and that’s when we’re free to live gracefully.

—————————————-

Talk about the creature that you find most Graceful. What makes it full of Grace? How is this like God?
WRITE A LINE OF YOUR GRACE INSPIRED BY THIS
(God, you remind me of a… because of the way you…)

What thing in your life are you most thankful for? What thing do you take most for granted?
WRITE A LINE OF YOUR GRACE THANKING GOD FOR THESE IN YOUR LIFE
(Thankyou for giving me…. Help me to more appreciate….)

Has anyone ever showed Grace towards you? Taking you with your weaknesses and reacting to situations without a flinch? Were you grateful, or did you feel frustrated at not being perfect and in control?
WRITE A LINE OF YOUR GRACE THANKING GOD FOR HIS UN FLINCHING ACCEPTANCE
(Your Grace is amazing! Whenever I….. you…..)

How will you let God’s Grace continue to move through your life onto other people? Who will you let the beauty of Grace flow out of you to? How will you keep the cycle of Grace going?
WRITE A LINE OF YOUR GRACE SAYING HOW YOU WILL SHOW GRACE TO OTHERS
(Just as you show Grace to me, I will let it flow through me by….)

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