Christian Grace

IMG_0302Yesterday, Goshen’s sky was icy cold. It isn’t possible to take a picture of the temperature,  but the clouds in the sky look “icy” cold to me.

Today it is warmer on earth and it is snowing as predicted.  I do not apologize for being ready for Spring. I still hope for Spring, though Winter must come first.  Sometimes Winter seems to be graceless.

Grace and Edger

Ada Grace and Edgar Burkholder

Gerald G. May wrote in “Addiction and Grace” that hope is a child of grace. That makes me think of females, and mothers. So,  Grace  is a name appropriately given to baby girls, as is Hope also.

Ada Grace was the name given to the eldest of the seven girl cousins born in the big house on the hill above my birth home. The mother of her six sisters and five brothers was also Ada Grace. I knew her as Aunt Ada

A few years ago cousin Grace and I talked by phone, and as I recall, she had read one of my books. She said that she was saddened because of the kind of church our parents needed to live in.  It was a graceful thing to say. Tonight I honor her by pondering grace.

Mary Grace and Harold Shenk

Mary Grace and Harold Shenk

This triggered thoughts about other graceful women named Grace. Among them is Mary Grace Shenk  who served as secretary of the Southeast Mennonite Conference.  This made her a member of the Executive Committee of the conference. She was the only woman  executive and served gracefully.

Grace is more than the name of a person or of a church like Grace Brethren. Meaning of words is determined by usage.  Grace can be an adjective that describes a persona as being  elegant,  with beauty of form, manner, motion, or charm, not limited by gender, nor by anyone’s name.  It may describe the action of a man or a  superior, such as a favor dispensed by a dean, a governor or other executive.

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Pastor Eve McMaster leads congregation to new meeting place

The authors I am reading wrote of grace as a redeeming quality of Deity.  In some parts of the Bible God appears fierce,  cruel, unforgiving and unrelenting. But not Jesus.  Jesus came to correct such misrepresentations of God.

No matter who wrote the Gospel of John or when it was written, John 1:14, declares that the Word was full of grace and truth.  I have answered the “what is truth” question by saying that Jesus came to show and tell the truth about grace.

With grace, Jesus conversed with women, touched lepers and dead bodies, and called Judas to follow him when he knew he would betray him.

graceJoy and peace will come on earth when it is peopled with men and women  filled with grace and truth.  That was the message of the angels to the shepherds on the first Christmas. Joy and peace was promised to men and women of good will.  Goodwill could solve the problems among the legislators in Washington, between Obama’s administration and the congress, among Muslim factions  everywhere on earth.   On this Christmas season I echo the angel’s promise of peace on earth among all people of goodwill.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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4 Responses to Christian Grace

  1. Eunice (Lehman) Esch says:

    Thank you , for remembering my big sister ,Ada Grace. We seven girls (old ladies !) still meet several times a year for “sisters day” and indeed Grace is a very gracious lady!
    sister no. 7

  2. Thanks for the comment, Eunice, I well remember the day you were born, the day Aldus was eighteen years old and registered with Selective Service and I got on the train for Grottos CPS Camp. John took us to Greencastle, but he says he doesn’t remember it. I wish I could be with you at the next meeting of seven sisters. If you can, send me a picture of the seven the next time you meet. – Martin

  3. Judy Stoltzfus says:

    thank you Uncle Martin for sharing the importance of grace and truth. May you and family share this blessed season with truth and grace.
    Love,
    Judy Stoltzfus

  4. Miriam Burkholder says:

    So enjoyed reading your thoughts on grace. And delighted to see a picture of my parents Ada Grace & Edgar Burkholder. I too dream the vision of the earth “peopled with men & women of grace and truth”. Imagine how much gentler we would be with each other and with the earth and its resources… Blessings to you this new year!
    Miriam Burkholder, San Antonio, TX

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