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The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you....

There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it.

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking, 1973

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Listen

Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory.

Romans 5:1-2

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Think

I try not to be a very proud person — at least not in the boastful sense. I’m proud of the degrees I’ve earned, and I’m proud of how I represent my family, and I’d like to think they’re proud of me. But I certainly don’t walk around announcing my pride in these things, and I blush when a family member brags on me or pats me on the back just for being me.

As you know, life as a Christian is a different life, though. Here, Paul doesn’t even instruct us to be boastful. Paul assumes that we will be boastful and live a boastful life. There is a caveat though — we are to boast only in God’s glory revealed in our lives through grace. It is God’s grace that we can be proud of. No accomplishment of our own can match the amazing grace of God. So, when we boast — because Paul assumes we will — we should boast only in the hope of God’s glory through the grace bestowed on us.

Mary Kate Deal

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Pray

God of Grace, keep me proud for the right reasons. Focus my mind and thoughts and eyes on the hope I have through you. Enable me to take pride in all the amazing things you do for me every day. Amen.

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Go

Take pride in God’s grace.

Accept God’s grace.

Have faith in God’s grace.

Thank God for grace.

Mary Kate Deal

Mary Kate Deal is a 2013 graduate of McAfee School of Theology. She currently serves as the Parish Administrator of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer outside Richmond, VA. She is married to William, and they have 17-month-old twin daughters, Dorothy and Adeline, who bring them more joy than they ever knew possible. She loves to write and preach and is thankful for any opportunity she is given to do so.

The Prayer: Be Thou My Vision

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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