I had an amazing Mentor for a while, called Simon Holland, he’s now the Warden at Lee Abbey, but before that he was Rector of a Church in Bath. His Churches Vision was :”to be a community of grace at the heart of the city”.
A broken world, and broken individuals need to experience the radical grace-filled love of God expressed in the love of God demonstrated most clearly and beautifully upon the cross of Calvary. Yet the cross actually shows something more wonderful, as Steve Britten -the Prayer Pastor Co-ordinator often says, “the cross shows us the greater truth, that God himself is good news”.
At the heart of the universe is a God who is not angry or vindictive, but loving us and desiring to welcome us home into relationship with him, with that same furious love as shown in Luke 15, with the parable of the running father (a better and more apt name that the prodigal son).
This is a message of radical and transforming hope, that however broken we are, however steeped in sin we have become, what ever we have done or whatever has been done to us, the grace of God and his love is greater still.
Reminded of the line from that great hymn; “the vilest offender, who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives”.
The truth of us as Church, is we have often forgotten what God, in Christ, has done for us.
We have forgotten we ourselves are forgiven sinners. We ourselves are not whole and respectable, without fault, blemish and with a cupboard or two full of skeletons.
Grace has saved us, we need to show grace to a world that won’t necessarily understand it, and probably can’t articulate it, but is none the less desperate for it.
Grace changes lives.
Grace transforms brokenness.
Grace is needed in the meeting place (Church) as well as the market place (world).