Fuller

Grace is Gritty

June 17, 2022 • Life for Leaders

Scripture—1 Corinthians 15:10a (NRSV)

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain.

Focus

Grace appeared. The least of the apostles believes he is unfit to be an apostle. But by his grace, Paul appears struck by grace, this gritty grace that does not let a murderous religious fanatic continue with threats. If it is good news to Paul, it’s good grace for me. The grace of God is greater. The grace of God is gritty. Grace-giving and grace-receiving are part of the tough fibers that hold a community together.

Devotion

Although we have already celebrated Pentecost Sunday, I am lingering gently in the wave of Eastertide. This is the first year that I have paused to be attentive to the fifty days of celebration after Easter. We have celebrated the many encounters that the resurrected Christ had with many persons. Paul recollects that Jesus appeared to Cephas. He appeared to the twelve. He appeared to 500 sisters and brothers. He appears to his half-brother James. He appeared to the apostles, which included male and female. And finally, Paul says he appeared to the least of the apostles: himself.  Paul is writing to the Corinthian community where leaders have questioned his apostleship and authority, and rightly so.

I linger there: He appeared.

He appeared to the faithful and the fearful. He appeared to the bold and the betrayers. He appeared to blood family and spiritual family. He appeared to one and he appeared to 500. He appears and he appeals: Believe that I am risen indeed. Jesus walks through walls in the gospels, cooks breakfast fish for his friends and is always the first to take the initiative to restore sight to his traumatized friends.

I also linger here: By the grace of God… his grace towards me… but the grace of God.

Grace appeared. The least of the apostles believes he is unfit to be an apostle. But by his grace, Paul appears struck by grace, this gritty grace that does not let a murderous religious fanatic continue with threats. If it is good news to Paul, it’s good grace for me. The grace of God is greater. The grace of God is gritty. Grace-giving and grace-receiving  are part of the tough fibers that hold a community together. This particular community needs a leader that has received that gritty grace that won’t let him go. This is a grace that is still resurrecting us today.

Reflect

When was there a time that you received unmerited grace? Recall how it felt to you.

Act

Ask a friend: When was there a time that you experienced gritty grace?

Pray

God of grace, dispense your grace like rain. May we awake this morning with new manna of grace to receive and extend. May grace fall around us and land on our souls like dew in the morning. May we take ahold of that gritty grace so that it would rub off on the stranger and the friend. May we wear grace on our face. By your grace, we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Amen.

Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: The Christian Life According to Popeye and Paul


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