Ordinary Time


My grace is enough for you.

2 Corinthians 12:9


Once the apostles and other believers heard this, they calmed down. They praised God and concluded, “So then God has enabled Gentiles to change their hearts and lives so that they might have new life.”

Acts 11:18


Writer Kathleen Norris writes, “If grace is so wonderful, why do we have such difficulty recognizing and accepting it? Maybe it's because grace is not gentle or made-to-order. It often comes disguised as loss, or failure, or unwelcome change."

Our world is currently in the midst of a lot of unwelcome change. One change is the most severe refugee crisis since WWII. Refugees don’t choose to leave their homes, but are forced to flee their homes and lives due to persecution or violence. I have come to know some refugee families through my church and learned they are people of tremendous courage. Many in our world are struggling to know how to welcome and embrace refugees. Some folks are afraid of them.

God's grace, as the apostles learned in this passage, is extended to all people. The apostles were afraid of grace extending to other people not like them – the Gentiles. Yet God challenged them to reconsider their assumptions, and they did.

How might grace challenge us?

Susan Sytsma Bratt


Gracious God, you were born into this world, fled as a refugee to Egypt, and eventually gave your life so that all people might experience your grace. May I recognize your grace in those challenging places in my life and in your world. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

Anne Lamott