God’s grace isn’t just for a select few

Published 9:29 am Friday, June 22, 2012

Across the Pastor’s Desk


By the Rev. Don Rose, Mansfield and United Lutheran Churches

This season of graduations has come to an end. Perhaps one of the most widely referenced commencement speeches given this year was by a high school teacher to a high school class in which one of the principle messages was that the students were not “special.” On the surface that sounds perhaps more negative than one might expect for such a speech. On the other hand what better time for a taste of reality than at the time of a high school graduation.

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Grade inflation, standing ovations and superlatives beyond measure all abound in these days. Grades commensurate with effort, accolades for a performance well done and commendations when appropriate all have value. However, in a culture that appears to have no standards only the sky is the limit. The speaker pointed out that all of the students wore the same robes and were quite indistinguishable from one another. That is life. False grades or false accolades do not improve anyone’s self-esteem or sense of accomplishment. Rather they give the false impression of entitlement and that one deserves to be treated in a certain way because of one’s “specialness.”

The way in which all people are special is in the eyes of God. That relationship is not based on any worth or value ascribed by this world. That relationship is based simply upon God’s love and desire. In this world we are who we are and called to live to the fullness of our potential. This potential is not based upon what we earn or accumulate but rather upon how well the gifts that we have been given by the Almighty are utilized for the sake of all God’s people. We are priceless because of God’s grace. Yet, at the same time, we must realize his grace isn’t for just a select few. It is a grace for all of God’s children everywhere they are found.

A child in the west is of no more worth or value than a child of India or the Far East. That which diminishes one of God’s children diminishes them all. Gender, race, economic status, sexual orientation or any other human factor has no impact on the reality of God’s love for each and every one of God’s children. No artificial contrivances such as grades or ovations are necessary when it comes to God’s relationship with every member of the human race.

That is something to remember and to celebrate.