How many of you say grace before eating a meal? Ok hands down. But how many of you have a sneaky mouthful of the meal beforehand. My long suffering wife, Fionnuala, is a wonderful cook. And a selfless one too. She always makes sure she has dished out dinner to the kids and myself before she serves herself and we sit down to eat together.
This can take several minutes in the chaos that is our kitchen at meal times. And it is in that tea time ‘twilight zone’ that I find myself staring at a plate of delicious food. My stomach is growling. It feels like my throat has been cut. Fionnuala’s back is turned on me. The kids aren’t looking either. Surely God wouldn’t miss one mouthful….
One mouthful invariably leads to two and then three. And before you know it my plate is considerably depleted by the time we are all seated together and join hands to thank God for the food we are about to eat.
About to eat? Er…..sorry God. Sorry that I have the willpower of a flea. Sorry that I put my hunger pangs before honouring you for the gift of grace. For the million and one things that I take for granted in my pampered, privileged first world existence. Sorry that I constantly stumble and put my own base, material urges in front of serving and glorifying your name.
As a Christian the numero uno in your life should be God. The rest will take care of itself. Family, friends, football. Oviously in that order. God came to earth in human form to rectify the horrendous mess we had made of our lives. No flood to cover the planet this time. Not water anyway. Instead Jesus came to wash away our sins, to drown us in love and to shower us in grace.
His grace overcame the grave. We did not deserve it. We could never earn it. But God delivered it anyway in the form of the Cross. And he keeps dishing it out every time we mess up. Every time we take him for granted. Every time we take a seat at the banquet of sin and start gorging ourselves on ungodly delicacies.
That’s the beauty of grace. It’s bottomless. It makes no sense. It’s beyond our understanding. But it’s there all the same. Day after day. Meal after meal. And the more of it we receive the more we should want to dispense it to others. Our neighbours, work colleagues, in fact anyone we encounter in our daily routines. We should be full of God’s grace yet hungry to spread justice and mercy throughout our sphere of influence.
Now that’s worth working up an appetite for.
Romans 3:23-24: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified free through his grace that came through tbe redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
How has the grace of God changed your life?
Are you hungry to serve God?
Ever had a sneaky mouthful before saying grace before a meal?