New semesters, new beginnings take us careening down a path of excitement mixed with potential and busyness. Potential for new friendships, for new career possibilities, for new ways to make a difference, to care for our campus and world. Yet also there is the push of busyness that can increase fragmentation, loneliness, and isolation. I have noticed that this can lead to the blame game and bring negativity knocking daily on our doors… To this situation so rife with hopefulness and fearfulness comes words of grace to us by the song Grace by U2. Notice how even the pacing of song slows us down and the riveting first line …Grace takes the blame.
When the internal monologue threatens these words graciously intrude – the blame has been taken. When the accusations come near or from afar, the song rings in our ears grace is here, expel the blaming accusations. Hymn writers past and present bring themes of grace to us breaking down the accusing voices and point us to one whose name is grace in capitals. “Hail Him who saves you by His grace”; “Tune my heart to sing thy grace”; “Amazing pity, grace unknown”; “With the dawn of redeeming grace”; “The triumphs of His grace”; “He rules the world with truth and grace” and the list goes on.
Grace comes saying “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” We might object that there isn’t time for this rest, for grace handling our blame. Yet in our heart of hearts I know I need it – do we know we need it? As we have paused for this interlude – space between the notes of life- take these words to heart when the voices come pulling identity away from the One who offers rest, who offers peace. Hear the resonating sound of encouragement. This person Jesus offers to take the blame and gives grace.
Grace for trying to measure up
Grace for the heavy stress of academics, our lives.
Grace for living in community
Grace for the differences with others
Grace for ourselves when we are our worst critics
May we find grace for today and this week.