One of the most familiar prayers we use together reads, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you”. When anyone starts it off others effortlessly take up the strains and by the end there is communion, even harmony. It reflects the community of the church and focuses us onto God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It speaks to us of grace, love and communion. It can also offer a stillness at the end of the conversation in which we may well have being engaged!
Our common life – our conversation – is established on the self- giving love of God, which is Grace. The love of God is the essence of who God is and expresses what God reveals for us. Love describes what God does through us, embodied as God is in Jesus Christ! If we are touched by God’s love and grace, we in turn will be generous, self-giving people.
Learning to live in the world of grace brings with it a challenge to cease always having to be part of the action, ceasing to exert our power or agenda. Learning to live in the world of grace involves learning to wait, often at the edge of things and above all else, waiting patiently and being attentive to what God will do.
The Revd Canon Thomas M B Woodhouse
Team Rector of Dorchester and The Winterbournes
(I am indebted to The Revd Paul Bradbury, whose book Stepping into Grace has inspired this reflection. It is a book well worth reading.)