a vestige of thought...
Saturday, July 29, 2006
#25 Mercy and Grace
When I first asked the difference between Mercy and Grace someone told me that Mercy is not getting what we do deserve and Grace was receiving what we do not deserve. I am coming to more fully understand this concept. In Les Miserables Jean Valjean, a "dangerous" prisoner on parole, meets a kindly bishop who lets the convict stay the night at his house. The bishop's only possessions of value are a few sets of silverware and two silver candlesticks. In the middle of the night Valjean robs the bishop, taking his silverware. In the morning Valjean is caught and returned to the bishop who, the police suppose, will testify against him. The police and Valjean are both surprised when the bishop says he has given Valjean the silverware and that the thief deserves no punishment. That is mercy. The bishop then proceeded to give Jean Valjean the two candlesticks that he had not originally taken. That is grace.
God is in many ways like this bishop. Through His son, he has taken upon Himself the punishment we deserve for our sin. That is mercy. And not only this but, again through His son, he has given a chance to spend eternity in His presence. That is grace.
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
I have just heard that Blogger is having a planned outage between 9 and 11 Pacific time (that's 12-2 AM Eastern). I believe Blogathon people are trying to contact the Blogger people to see if this can be postponed, but in case it cannot, I will move over to my Xanga for those two hours and re-post everything here later.