Grace: receiving the undeserved and generous riches of God’s love when he could have turned away from us and our sin.

At the 10.30 service Cathie Watson showed us a clip from the film “Les Miserables” which captures perfectly the undeserved kindness God shows to us through Jesus. Jean Valjean the ex-convict, unable to find work, shelter or human kindness, is finally offered hospitality by a bishop. In the night, Jean steals the bishop’s silver and hurries out into the darkness, unable to accept that the bishop’s kindness is real or that he can take a different path in life, having known only cruelty and distrust up to that point. He is caught, arrested and returned to the bishop to be identified. But to his astonishment, the bishop claims that the silver has been given to him as a gift. And to further confound Jean, the bishop brings his silver candlesticks and says to him, “Look my friend, you forgot these!” The bishop tells him that now he has been given this undeserved second chance in life, he must live now for God. To tell you more would be to reveal too much of the plot, should there be anyone out there who hasn’t seen the film/ musical/ TV series/ book! But the rest of the film is Jean’s response to this grace he received.

How have you experienced God’s grace? How can we as a community and as individuals communicate it to others? Reflect on the questions below.