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Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of Troubles

Statute of Limitations Proposed for Legacy of the Troubles During the Prime Minister’s Question time on 15 July, PM Johnson announced that the government would be bringing forth a statute of limitations in regard to occurencess committed before the Good Friday...

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals

Church of England Considering Legislation Regarding Parishes Seeking Input on Proposals   Input has been requested on the proposals to change the current legislation regarding parishes within the Church of England.  The review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure...

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia

GAFCON Australia to Support Diocese for Those Forced from Anglican Church of Australia Gafcon Australia has outlined its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture. At an...

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bp of Liverpool

Church of England Evangelical Council Reacts to Unorthodox Remarks by Bishop of Liverpool The Church of England Evangelical Council has responded to a widely criticised public address and subsequent apology made last month by the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, Bishop of...

Questions Out of LFF, Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir, I read the first article from Anglican Futures, regarding the document, Living In Love and Faith, [LLF] EC 8083. I found the article helpful, well presented and gives a clear overview of the document.  However, I found myself seriously disquieted and I raise...

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid: Parental Deaths Due to HIV

Kenyan Bishop Appeals for Orphan Aid Parental Deaths Due to HIV  The Rt Revd John Orina Omangi, Bishop of the Kisii Missionary District in Eastern Kenya is appealing for assistance in caring for 100 children orphaned by the widespread HIV problem in the area.  Kisii...

Christianity & Craft Freemasonry, A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers

Christianity and Craft Freemasonry A Pastoral Guide for Christian Ministers Gerard Moate Latimer Trust, 2021 (ISBN: 9781906327705, 70pp) By 1964 a national commission of enquiry estimated the existence of 50,000 books and pamphlets on freemasonry. This literature has,...

Forgotten Reformer: Myles Coverdale

Forgotten Reformer: Miles Coverdale Geoffrey Main Self-published, 2021 (ISBN: 9781916873704, 228pp) Episcopal biographies are always an enjoyable read, not least those of bishops who are better known for their non-episcopal work. Coverdale is of course best known for...

And Just When You Thought You’d Heard Everything, Bats Communications Officer

Whilst considering reducing the number of clergy nationwide, the Church of England is advertising for someone to be employed as its, “Bats in Churches Communications Officer”.  The post, which is located in London, pays between £31,857 and £34,255 (pro rata).  The...

Pilgrim’s Proces: Baptism Depths of Meaning by Peter Sanlon

In my last column we looked at the Lord’s Supper.  Today, we take a look at the other sign our Lord Jesus instituted among us.  These signs, or sacraments, which God gives his people are both simple and profound. In their simplicity, God's grace is powerfully...

It’s All About the Grace of Jesus

In the 7 weeks of the Christianity Explored course, there are two weeks that seem to elicit a negative reaction from at least one person in most classes.  You might ask which biblical topics would cause someone a problem (they are sin and grace) especially, if you come from a practising Christian family…or one that was once upon a time.  

The two topics are simple yet profound.  In my experience, a significant proportion of people from the UK and Ireland struggle with the concept of sin. They just do not believe that sin is something to be concerned about because they do not see themselves as sinners.  The Ten Commandments are a film shown on TV at Easter but rarely recited in worship or school. 

On the other hand, those from the USA can really kick about the matter of grace.   America is a great meritocracy.  Everyone gets what they earn or that for which they’ve worked. It is nothing more and nothing less.  Grace is most foreign.

Biblically speaking, it shouldn’t be an issue because the bible tells us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Regarding grace, it tells us that it is by grace that we are saved, not of works lest any man should boast.

You see, grace was and is God’s response to sin; our sin, yours and mine not just the other fellow’s.  Grace is the free unmerited favour of God lavished on those who were once his enemies.  It isn’t something we can work for nor earn.  It is the gift of God and what a gift it is!

In the 1950s, my maternal grandmother was quite ill and required a rather lengthy hospitalisation.  She must have  been very close to death because it forever marked her personality.  Hospital bills were just as correspondingly expensive then in the US as today.  My grandfather didn’t know what to do and he was in a fix.  He literally had no means of paying the money.  All his unrelenting work and self-reliance had not left him prepared.

Then grace stepped in…and from a most unlikely source.  Years later, my granddad told me the story and he was still overwhelmed by what had happened.  You see, grace showed in the form of Mr Ed.  There wasn’t a man in our community that people thought less of than him. Many could recount his real or imagined sins and transgressions.

My granddad said it happened this way.  “A truck pulled up and out got Mr Ed.  He came to the door and greeted me and said.  “I heard about your wife’s illness.  You must have a big bill.”  My granddad said, “Yeah, and I don’t have an idea as to how I’ll ever pay it.”  Mr Ed looked him square in the eye and asked, “Herbert, what was it?”  He answered, “It’s $1,100.”  

At that, my granddad’s voice quavered, and he said, “Son, he opened up the bib pocket of his overalls and pulled out a wad of one hundred-dollar bills.  Then he peeled off eleven and handed them to me.  I tried to say no but he wouldn’t hear of it.  He shook my hand and walked back to his truck and went home.”

What Mr Ed did was a true act of grace.  No one really knew where he got his money, but he did for my grandparents what they couldn’t do for themselves.  That is the way God’s grace is given to us.  We don’t earn it, but he lavishes it on us who believe.  We have no way of paying our sin debt apart from that grace, but that grace covers the entire bill.  It’s all about the grace of Jesus.  Have you experienced it?

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