“Thrush song, stream song, holy love
That flows through earthly forms and folds,
The song of Heaven’s Sabbath fleshed
In throat and ear, in stream and stone,
A grace living here as we live, Move my mind now to what which holds Things as they change.”
Wendell Berry’s words express something of the truth about the human experience of divine grace, the grace that holds us and all things as we change, in our growing and in our dying, in our moments of tragedy and of joy, in times of abundance and in need. For all things in God’s creation, change never ends, but neither does the grace of the Creator who, mysteriously, set it all in motion. This phenomenon of grace is not simply some abstract theological concept, but a lived reality. Grace is the word we use to try to describe God’s free gifts of love and forgiveness, of beauty and truth, and of life itself. While grace is the sense we get when we stop and appreciate being alive, living and breathing in this very moment is an amazing, unearned gift of God. One of the best loved hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace,” tells of the grace of God. Imagine if every morning we could hear not the sounds of the day’s latest round of bad news, but the sweet sound whispered anew into our hearts of God’s amazing grace. It would not eliminate all the suffering in the world, but it would eliminate the sense of despair that many endure, and the feeling that we are alone. By the grace of God, each of us has been given the gift of life and a world full of “Thrush song, stream song and holy love.” Many moments of life are full of time wasted on petty disputes, worries about the future, regrets about the past, things amassed while relationships crumble, hurts nurtured while forgiveness is withheld. Every minute, every precious second is a gift of God, given through amazing grace. And this grace is for everyone and through the changes which life inevitably brings this grace holds us, safe and secure. As we have known and experienced this grace that holds us, let us share the gifts of God’s grace with others that they, like we, may know that amid the change that this world brings, God’s love and grace are forever.
Blessings and peace, Pastor Gillian