Years ago, I had an encounter with our living Lord. After that, I wanted to learn about the One who had graciously reached out and healed me, so I headed back to church after many years of absence.
But being alone at church is difficult. Coffee hour can be a nightmare, for often friends talk only to friends, ignoring the stranger. But there was one older lady, a retired pastor’s wife, who noticed me. She became my safe place for she was gracious and kind. She was a true Christian lady.
Grace flowed out of Jesus every moment of his life. But a most poignant moment of grace was as he was hanging on the cross. He let the insults slide on by, but not the plea for mercy. Despite his agony, he was gracious and merciful to the thief who asked “Jesus, remember me.”
His answer is for all of us: “?today you will be with me in Paradise.” When it is our turn, we, too, will be able to trust in his abundant grace.
Dear God, like the thief beside Jesus, we ask that you would be with us in our fear and suffering, and especially in our dying. In Jesus' name. Amen. — AK