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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They said to him, “Where’s your wife Sarah?”

And he said, “Right here in the tent.”

Then one of the men said, “I will definitely return to you about this time next year. Then your wife Sarah will have a son!”

Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were both very old. Sarah was no longer menstruating. So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, I’m no longer able to have children and my husband’s old.

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Me give birth? At my age?’ Is anything too difficult for the Lord? When I return to you about this time next year, Sarah will have a son.”

Genesis 18:9-14

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I love Sarah’s laughter. It proves that even the most faithful — a Matriarch of Israel — can have momentary lapses of faith. How could a woman so far past her child-bearing prime possibly give birth? Only through the grace of God.

I like to think of Sarah’s laughter as a moment of grace itself. It would be easier to get angry and resent the statement. But she laughed and stayed positive. She reached out and accepted God’s grace handed to her through the words of this visitor.

We are all prone to momentary lapses of faith. But will we respond with positivity or negativity? Will we reach out and accept the grace offered or will we slap it out of God’s hand in unbelief, in anger, or in resentment?

Mary Kate Deal

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God of Grace, thank you for laughter. Thank you for grace in spite of my doubts and fears. Remind me to stay positive even when I want to doubt. Amen.

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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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