Monday, May 13, 2013

Grace After Holy Communion

Grace was given twice this past Sunday.  The first time it came was the moment of the Table Gathering at the Rocky Ford Church.  The second time was about fifteen minutes after I left the church on the way home.  On a four lane highway with a divided median,  I looked down and saw the speedometer reading 65 mph.  Since the posted speed limit was 55 mph, I started slowing down.  The next thing I saw was flashing blue lights behind me.  The usual conversation took place.  He said the radar gun showed 65 mph and I said that I knew I was driving too fast, but it just slipped up on me.  When the sheriff's deputy returned to his car with my driver's license in hand, I knew a speeding ticket and fine was coming.  On his return, he handed me my license and said, "You know that sickening feeling you had when I left with your license.  Just think how much worse you would feel if I walked away now after giving you a $200 fine."  Instead of handing me a ticket, he turned and walked back to his patrol car and I breathed this huge sigh of relief. 
Grace is what I got at the Table.  Grace is also what I got on the side of the road.  With the deputy I revealed myself as the typical sinner.  I was breaking the law.  I knew it.  I could not make it right.  Instead of taking responsibility I blamed some force other than myself by saying, "It slipped up on me."  I was guilty and deserving of the punishment.  What I got was not what I deserved.  I got grace.  All the things I experienced with the deputy, I also experienced at the Table with the Lord.  I knelt a sinner.  I knew the things in my life that made me a sinner.  I could not make it right.  I always want to justify myself by finding someone other than my own self to blame.  I deserve the punishment, but what I have always found around the Table is the undeserved grace of God.
Roadside grace kept me from a $200 speeding ticket.  Table grace kept me from being separated from the presence of God.  Roadside grace I could have lived without receiving.  It would have been painful, but I would have survived.  Not so with Table grace.  Without God's grace, I am forever out of His presence.  Such a place is not where I would ever choose to live.

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