One slave believed his master was a harsh man. Where did he get that idea? The other slaves didn’t see it that way. He saw power, but not grace. Fearing the master’s power, he hid in fear. St. Paul writes about him when he says that the cross of Christ is “foolishness” to those who are perishing (see 1 Corinthians 1). “How can God be that generous!” howls the religious zealot. “Everyone could just lie around doing nothing, and expect God to do everything!”
Exactly. Except it doesn’t work out that way. In his 2014 book Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey credits Christian missionaries for the most effective and recognized progress and development around the world. For centuries, faithful Christians have quietly, daily worked in third world countries, educating children and providing health care for people who can’t pay. Why? Because they know grace.
They know a gracious God, who welcomes us in our unworthiness, who paid a high price to claim us as beloved children. We have learned the unbelievable truth that God loves even unworthy folks like us. The slave who knew his master to be a harsh man was wrong. So he ran away and hid. And he missed out on the party.
Lord God, give us your undeserved favour and also the humility to accept it for the gift it is. Amen. — TG