One of the greatest gifts offered to all of humankind is God’s unmerited and loving grace. No matter who we are or where we’ve been or what we’ve done, God’s grace surrounds us. Whether we believe we deserve it or not, we can do nothing to earn it and nothing to lose it. I don’t know about you, but the fact that God sees every part of me and my life and still accepts me as a beloved child is one of the most baffling things to me about God’s love.

The grace human beings offer one another is just as beautiful, but a lot more elusive because we’re, well, human. It’s very hard to put aside our feelings of hurt, anger, or disappointment toward another human being and offer a grace that says, “you are a beautiful child of God and you deserve love.”

The biggest obstacle in offering this kind of grace, though, is often our own pride. Pride judges, and it puts other people in a place apart from us that obscures our view of their humanity. Pride is like a fence around our heart that keeps from journeying out of ourselves to meet our brother or sister on the sacred ground of shared feelings and experiences.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus teaches one of his greatest lessons on making that difficult, but crucial, journey from pride to grace. Join us Sunday as we talk about this parable and continue our 137-mile Lenten journey to Jerusalem.

Rev. Eve Williams
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
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