Sometimes You Gotta Show Up for Grace

Bible at ChurchI tweeted something this morning along the lines of, “I’m not very excited about going to church today.” Even though I felt that way, somehow we managed to get there. Our commitment to the experience remained low, however, as evidenced in the amount of time we remained standing outside the sanctuary door. Having made it to Sunday school, we stood there before worship, trying to decide if we could make it that one extra hour.

I think everyone over the age of sixteen in our little family unit realized how silly we were being so we decided to stay. Unfortunately, we took so long to decide that we lost our usual seats and had to sit in the balcony. It was like going to a different church.

Part of our hesitancy arose from the fact that it was confirmation Sunday. “OMG!” we thought, “We might have to stay longer than usual!” Yes, I know how sad that sounds.

The service began as it always does:

Holy God,
Help us to be present in worship this day
Even as you are present.

Guess what followed? An entire service about grace. Sometimes you gotta show up for grace in order to receive it.

Here I was, second-guessing myself and wondering if this blog was the way I wanted to go. There I was, debating whether or not I was going to stay for church. Here I am, listening to sermons (Yes, sermons–there were TWO), and words, and prayers, and liturgies, all about grace. That might happen regularly in your house of worship if you attend often. It might happen more often than I think in my own. I know I don’t always pay attention. But there’s no doubt that on this particular Sunday during this particular service, words of grace were coming through loud and clear.

Sometimes when you show up for grace it hits you over the head like a two-by-four.

Our pastor, Ken, told a story from his childhood about a kid who was always picked last when the captains chose sides for baseball teams. One day, to everyone’s surprise, a captain chose this kid first. I could relate. I was one of those picked-last kids. Like the boy in Ken’s story, I deserved to be chosen last. I sucked at every organized sports game I ever tried to play. But I didn’t see it that way at the time (heck, I don’t see it that way now). It hurts not to be chosen.

But grace isn’t about what you deserve. “Grace,” Ken reminded us, “always chooses you first.”

When have you shown up for grace, only to find out it was already there, and it has already chosen you?

2 thoughts on “Sometimes You Gotta Show Up for Grace

  1. Actually that’s what happened to me after I made myself attend a VBS planning meeting; other people where so excited about bringing grace to children, it was a reminder of just what this is all about. Thanks for clarifying that.


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