July 08, 2011

A Place of Grace (Hopefully)

Philippians 2:1-4

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ … then make my joy complete…
Philippians 2:1-2


The woman standing at my door one afternoon was not happy with me. I had left on her “to do” list something that she had hoped to add to mine.

A month earlier she had volunteered to bring refreshments to a Bible study planned for this evening. But here she was, telling me that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to come this evening.

Normally I would have said, “Okay … thanks for letting me know.” But this day had already been full of inconveniences. I was not in the mood for another. So I told her that it was up to her to find someone else to bring goodies for the group.

I was probably a little short with her. I know that I surprised myself a little.

I also noticed that she was more than a little irritated, and that tonight’s study of Matthew might not be accompanied by snacks at all.

For a few weeks it was clear that her irritation had staying power.

But then, as time passed, she loosened her grip on her irritation. In fact, she eventually became a trusted colleague in ministry!

It may seem a small thing, but her willingness to release her irritation was a wonderful sign that the church can be a place of reconciling grace.

Thank you for gracious people, Lord! They remind us of you, and they call us to be gracious ourselves. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — David Den Haan

Pastor Dave Den Haan has served at Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan, since 1999. Previously he served a church in Minnesota. Dave and his wife, Connie, have three children.

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