You are a Means of Grace

Robin Dugal, a friend of mine, when reflecting after a tough pastoral visit, reflects on what it means to be a clay pot charged with ministering grace:

Just to underscore…read about the sacraments sometime – they are “outward signs which have God’s command and promise” – isn’t that what our identity is to be all about as followers and lovers and children of God?  “The chief thing about sacraments is God’s Word” – isn’t it true, that this Kingdom deal isn’t about you and me but really all about Jesus, the Living Word?  “Sign of the covenant of grace” – aren’t we called as followers of Jesus to embody God’s covenant?  Light and salt to the world…a city set on a hill…go and do likewise…those are words of Jesus given to challenge and encourage you and me to bear His Word and will into our world.  I don’t know…I don’t want to make TOO BIG of a deal of this, but it is making more sense to me as I go along.  I don’t think God uses only a handful of means to communicate and reveal His grace to the world…He uses a multitude of expressions of Himself and His love through people who are part of His Body…you and me.  I underscore, this doesn’t mean that WE do the actual work…we just bear the presence of the ONE whose work has been, is being and is going to be done in our lives.  Jesus is the one who saves, justifies, and sanctifies…His work alone.

So, I’ve been coming to this conclusion…we are a means of grace.  In fact, the more you think about, the more sense it makes.  The classic definition of a sacrament actually helps you and me (if we are followers of Jesus) to embrace our God given purpose and call…we are “sent” to the world to “go and make disicples.”  We are a means of God’s grace in and through our mission…in that way, every follower is a sacrament…every person who loves Jesus that which is poured out, broken, bringing the washing of new life that only comes through Jesus into the presence of the relationships in which we have been blessed.

How’s that for clarifying who we are in Jesus?  We (as the gathered community of faith) not only handle the means of grace, we ARE a means of grace!  Every follower a “sacrament”…I don’t know, it seems to work for me.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://chriscanuel.wordpress.com Chris Canuel

    Exactly…She gets it.

  • http://chriscanuel.wordpress.com Chris Canuel

    Sorry…I meant he…I think he?

  • Scot McKnight

    Chris, yes a he.

  • http://chriscanuel.wordpress.com Chris Canuel

    Now I feel like a jerk.

  • http://restoringsoul.blogspot.com Ann F-R

    Yes, I agree. A neighbor just called and asked how to visit a dear, life-long friend who’s been placed in hospice care. Be yourself, be the one who loves her now as you’ve loved her all these years, be the one crying with her, bring the presence of Jesus and our faith in God’s power to resurrect us into the days she has left. Love, mercy & grace through one another seem to offer the tender awareness of Christ’s presence, imho.

  • Robin Dugall

    Chris – you aren’t a jerk…I’ve been around the block that THAT before…trust me! As long as you don’t say, “where’s Batman?”, I’m happy!

    Robin

  • http://yliapu.typepad.com/spiritualregurgitations/ Robin Dugall

    Scot, I had no idea how many spelling errors the original post had…I hadn’t looked at it since I just “banged” it out on the “heat of the moment.” I would have flunked myself for that stuff! Ha!

  • Georges Boujakly

    A freeing and empowering thought, Robin.

    We are channels through which grace graces others in the same way that Jesus is God’s means of grace to us. Grace and truth came to humanity by him.

    Transformed by grace we go on as instruments of the same transforming grace into the world.

  • http://thekingspresence.wordpress.com/ Peter

    I love this. We are stewards, called to share Christ with others. Grace is just God Himself being wrought into us. His Spirit is the well of Living Water within us springing forth into eternal life and it is the streams of Living Water that flow from within us. We are to be the very Vessel of God, the Corporate Christ, to express God’s image and exercise His authority.

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com diana trautwein

    Amen and amen – I think this came home to me more powerfully when I was a pastor, but I think it is indeed true for every one of us: we are a means of grace in this world and all of life is sacramental as we minister to others for Jesus’ sake. Thanks for these good thoughts.

  • Paul W

    Largely agree. The language would probably be more recognizable to a broader range of Christians if the post spoke of our lives as “sacramental” rather than being a sacrament.

  • http://www.godhungry.org Jim Martin

    Robin, this is a great post. Such a good reminder of the power and grace that can exist in ordinary pastoral work, such as a difficult pastoral visit.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X