Andrew Fox of Danesmoor, Chesterfield, England
Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, “Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.” -Deuteronomy 15:10-11
At a rock concert at Wembley Stadium to celebrate the changes in South Africa, rock bands had been playing for around 12 hours. The crowd was starting to get quite unruly. The final act was Jessye Norman, an opera singer. A single light illuminated her as she strolled onstage wearing traditional African dress. Some of the crowd started to shout for the rock bands to return.
Alone, a capella, she began to sing:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found-was blind but now I see.
Seventy thousand fans fell silent as she continued,
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear. And grace my fears relieved…
By the time she reached the third verse,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe this far, and grace will lead me home,
several thousand fans were singing along.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun. -John Newton
Jessye Norman later confessed she had no idea what power descended on Wembley Stadium that night. But we know.
The world thirsts for grace. Through grace we are loved, not because of what we are, but because of who we are. And when grace descends, miracles occur.
Through our Enduring Principle Grace and Generosity we understand that God’s grace, especially as revealed in Jesus Christ, is generous and unconditional. And it is through the power of such grace that this world will be changed.
“Over the years we melt into what we seek” (Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year).
We are in the threshold between seasons in the Christian calendar. You may have been noticing the physical transitions of the seasons wherever you live as some enter the depths of winter and others the warmth of summer. The seasons are a visible reminder that even among the most predictable rhythms and routines of our lives, change is always happening. The events of our moments, days, weeks, years form us and transform us over time. We enter each season different from when we arrived here last. This is the nature of this cyclical journey of faith. In these final days of the Christian calendar and the season of Ordinary time, there is opportunity to take a sacred pause, to notice how you arrive in this threshold. What have you been formed by this year? What has been deepening you as you’ve lived through another cycle of this life of faith?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.