Skip to main content

Trade Denied/Grace Realized


This week several teams in the NFL traded players.  One trade, between the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles, would have swapped running back Jerome Harrison for running back Ronnie Brown.  But the trade did not happen. Both players were required to undergo a physical before the trade was made official; upon seeing the results of Harrison’s physical, the trade was voided.  According to ESPN, the physical revealed a brain tumor.  If this proposed trade had not happened, it is impossible to say when or if Harrison’s tumor would have ever been discovered.  Fortunately it is in the very early stages, and he hopes to make a full recovery.

Have you ever accidentally tripped upon grace? Ever had one of those “ah-ha moments” when the universe seemed to tumble together in the right order?  I have no idea if Mr Harrison is a spiritual/religious guy or not, but I suspect upon hearing the news of his physical he saw life in a different light.  And I imagine there was more than a little bit of gratitude, perspective, and celebration.

Each of us stands on one side of a door. We do not know what is on the other side, but somehow, someway, we are beckoned to grasp the knob, turn it, open the door, and step inside. There are a number of scriptures that speak to the metaphor of the door: one of my favorites comes from Revelation 3:20: Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. Open the door, and I will come in to you.” There is a famous painting in St Paul’s Cathedral in London by William Holden Hunt called “Light of the World.” Jesus stands there, knocking, and we wait with him to see if the person opens it.  The thing is: if you look closely at the painting, there is no handle on the outside of the door. It can only be opened from the inside. Jesus calls each of us and waits: knocking, listening, hoping.

Join us this Sunday for Commitment Sunday. We’ll ask the Lord to guide us through the door to another year full of opportunities to minister to others. We’ll seek faith strong enough to step through the open door to newer, deeper life in Jesus Christ. We’ll challenge one another to grow further in love, and we’ll hold one another accountable through it. Because every now and then we are accidentally surprised by grace. And in those moments we want to be mindful, and thankful, for all of God’s gifts.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…