Robin Gudal: But by the grace of God, there go I

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 24, 2021

EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

“But by the grace of God, there go I.” This saying has been around a long time, and the older I get the more I find myself mummering it. If only I had the wisdom of today in my 30s and 40s I could have saved myself a lot of anguish and a whole lot less apologies. Maybe it’s Covid, maybe it’s age, maybe I am finally just getting it, but I feel many of us have brushed up on the grace, mercy and empathy skills as of late. It’s a hard and cruel world out there. We need to have each other’s backs. Especially as a Christian community.

Robin Gudal

“They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Originally published in the “Hymnal for Young Christians” (1966), written by Catholic Priest Peter Raymond Scholtes. The hymn becomes a sung theology of discipleship and action at the congregation’s sending. Each subsequent stanza reflects on the “what” of the community’s life together using present participles: walking hand in hand, working together and praising together. — “Holding Faith: A Practical Introduction to Christian Doctrine” by Cynthia Rigby.

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“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35, NIV

“When we focus on imagining what it is that God desires, as people of hope, we emphasize that the work does not and cannot begin with us, but rather is grounded in God” — Cynthia Rigby.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34, NLT

Please note, love doesn’t mean we don’t speak truth. It simply means we are kind and have compassion in the delivery; we speak in love. Sin has consequences and this should not make us feel better than, this is where we get to have genuine empathy toward others. It also brings us right back to my opening statement; “But by the grace of God, there go I.” If you or I ever think we are not capable of the most heinous, corrupt, awful, sly, underhanded, hurtful, shameful, illegal, immoral and downright mean things in life we are walking on shaky ground. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to you; you are capable. I am capable. “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” — Martin Luther King

Write this on a piece of paper and hang on your mirror lest you forget; “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23, NIV. All, not some, not others except me, all.

“No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8, NLT

Robin (Beckman) Gudal is intentional in life, a wife, momma, nana, friend and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.