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Anglican Futures: Anglican Alphabet Spaghetti

Anglican Futures Anglican Alphabetti Spaghetti A dummies guide to the plethora of organisations and acronyms linked to faithful Anglicans in the UK and Europe. I once spent some time around military personel.  Everything had its own TLA (Three Letter Acronym) right...

Canterbury Tales: Favourite Bible Stories Retold by Archbishop Justin Welby

Canterbury Tales Favourite Bible stories retold by Archbishop Justin Welby The Good Samaritan A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead, halfway...

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops

Anglican Mission in England Elects Two Suffragan Bishops The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) met in Synod on 18 June.  While there, they elected two suffragan bishops to aid Bishop Andy Lines in providing episcopal oversight for the overall work.  Bishop Lines also...

Pride Flags Causing Conflict at Christian School

Pride Flags Cause Conflict at Christian School Conflict has broken out in a Christian school in Oxfordshire over the display of “Pride” flags. The institution in question is Kingham Hill School.  The same Trust (Kingham Hill Trust) oversees Oak Hill College, an...

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers

Prayer Book Society Raising Funds to Put BCPs in the Hands of Choristers The Prayer Book Society, which will soon celebrate its 50th Anniversary, is raising funds to put a special edition BCP into the hands of junior choristers around the nation.   The idea came to...

Book Review: Reimagining Britain by Justin Welby

Reimagining Britain Foundations for Hope Justin Welby Bloomsbury, 2018, new edn. 2021 (ISBN: 978-1-4729-8497-5, 322pp, £12.99) The Archbishop of Canterbury has made several notable political interventions recently, including over ‘partygate’ and the Rwanda deportation...

Birthday of Anglicanism in America

Birthday of Anglicanism in America By the Revd Canon Chuck Collins June 16, 1607 was the birthday of Anglicanism in America. On this day Captain John Smith and 104 others celebrated the Lord’s Supper when they arrived safely in Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown was the...

Barnabas Fund Report: Two ChiBok Girls Found

Barnabas Fund Reports Two Chibok Girls Found After 8 Years 24 June 2022 Two women, who were among hundreds of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from the Nigerian town of Chibok eight years ago, have been found. Hauwa Joseph was discovered among a group of other...

New Bishop-elect for the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory

Church of Ireland News New Bishop Elected for Cashel, Ferns & Ossory The Church of Ireland diocese of Cashel, Ferns, and Ossory now has a bishop-elect.  The Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne, and Ross was elected to succeed the Rt Revd Michael...

Editorial: Lessons to be Learned from the American Pro-Life Movement

Editorial Lessons to be Learned from American Pro-Life Movement Friday, 24 June 2022, the Feast of St John the Baptist, will be a date which will live in infamy amongst the supporters of abortion.  On that date, the US Supreme Court, overturned the precedent set by...

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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