I grew up in parsonages, the daughter of a convert to Christianity. My father was raised in a home where religion was primarily about civic responsibility and adherence to a system of healing found in the Christian Science church.
As a young adult preparing for marriage, Dad took instruction in the Lutheran church of my mother’s family. There he heard the words of grace that our tradition proclaims so well. It was a radical encounter with the grace and the love of a generous God. For Dad, it was life changing. As he subsequently graduated from seminary and was ordained into pastoral ministry, the story of God’s unconditional love was the lens through which he proclaimed God’s grace.
He rarely talked about conversion and he never used his own life’s story as a way of giving credence to Christianity. God’s love shown to us in the life and death of Jesus was THE story.
This is one of the ways I came to experience God’s love, generosity, and grace. At home, at church, with family and friends, I saw and heard and felt the mystery of God’s love in Jesus. I knew it was radical then, and I know that now.
This message was adapted from “Grace and Gratitude” written by Julie K. Aageson that first appeared in the November 2010 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.