St. Joseph, Thursday, March 15

Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time with my best friend at a nearby lake.  One weekend before my birthday, I headed to the lake, telling my parents I would be home early Saturday.  But when Saturday came, we were having so much fun, I stayed the whole day and even overnight.  I didn’t call my parents to tell them, though there was a telephone at the marina (these were the ancient days before mobile phones).

On Sunday when I finally headed home, the drive home was dreadful.  I felt such remorse.  I could only imagine how much trouble I would be in when I got home.  I knew better. I knew I should have called and gotten their permission to stay another night.

As I pulled into the driveway, our foreign exchange student came running out of the house to tell me, “Mother and Dad have been waiting for you.”  My heart sank.  I was in such deep trouble.

As I went into the house, there were my parents waiting for me.  They both exclaimed, “Happy Birthday!!!”  And on the dining room table was a stereo they had gotten me for my birthday.

They were waiting for me to give me a gift.  I was expecting punishment for my disobedience, but instead was greeted with open arms filled with love and a wonderful gift.  That was a small example to me of God’s unending grace.  He showers us with His love, not because we deserve it, or because we earned it, but because His love is so extravagant.

God of grace, thank You for the gift of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  We don’t deserve it, we can’t earn it, but we receive it by faith, with humility and utmost gratitude.

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