Here are a few lines from Ashley’s sermon on the second Sunday of Christmas. He was reflecting on the prologue to John’s gospel and how with the birth of Jesus light, grace and truth came into the world.
John tells us that God’s grace, or his undeserved kindness, is not an abstract thing (something separate from God, something that God feels or God does), but rather it is very personal. Grace comes to us in the person of Jesus, the Word, the one who was with God in the beginning.
Jesus himself is God’s undeserved kindness, he is God’s grace, and there’s something quite amazing about that if you think about it.
If grace was something that God felt towards us or a thing he did for us then we might wonder if it was a temporary thing. Feelings change – even God’s feelings – you only have to read the Bible to see that; and actions are definitely limited to the moment in which they occur – so we say he did this once, or she’s doing it now, or they will do it later.
But according to John, and to an extent Ephesians, God’s grace isn’t something separate from God; rather it is very much part of who God is, and we know that because of Jesus
In another place, we are told that God is love. Well in Jesus we discover that God is grace, God is undeserved kindness; it is not what he feels or what he does, it is who he is, in himself, and so the friendship that we can have with God through Jesus is one upon which we can totally rely, however much we might think (or feel, or act) as if we don’t deserve it.
[Reflecting on John 1.18 and Ephesians 1.3-14]