Lutherans talk a lot about grace. It is the best way to apprehend the reconciling love of God, especially as demonstrated in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Among the inexhaustible riches of this concept, Lutherans hold up two key understandings.
First, grace presupposes that we need it. Second, by definition, grace is a gift. If we can achieve our own marvelousness apart from God, who needs grace? If we can achieve our own justification apart from grace, who needs God? If we don’t need God, we miss the wonder of the Creator becoming a creature, of the Infinite becoming finite – all out of love. And if we cannot accept grace as a gift, then we spend our lives in the relentless and futile effort to justify ourselves, to be good enough.
We are not loved for what we do or for who we are but because of whose we are.
This message is excerpted from “Where’s Lutheran?” by Elizabeth Eaton in the January/February 2017 Gather magazine.
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