I live in the vulnerability of my need for grace. Grace I ought to give, grace I hope someone else will extend to me. Undeserved kindness, mercy, love. Most of all, the grace of God. Pure, unmerited, unsettling grace.
Grace, finally, is not dependent on anything more than the nature and reality of God. It is not what this or that preacher says it is, or what some friend tells us that comes out of their own need.
God is love. This is the highest statement of the revelation of God’s being in the New testament. Count on that more than any other statement about the Christian gospel. It does not free us to live as we please. Damage comes from our refusal of grace, consequences to our self-destructive alienation. But if the gospels are right, grace can restore a prodigal who had wasted everything, a woman with five marriages, a tax collector who was a traitor to his people, a murderer like the apostle Paul, and a woman caught in utter shame of adultery by a group of lascivious onlookers. It can reclaim even a thief nailed next to Jesus who barely knew his name. And if this is so, then there is hope.
If my eternal destiny has to be put in someone else’s intellectual system or opinions, I despair. So I will leave it with Jesus Christ and God the Father. No theological system can save me. No overbearing authoritarian preacher can save me. No amount of public relations or self-justifying deeds can save me from my worst self. Grace says there is yet hope even for me. And for you and the rest of us.
Instead of deciding who is worthy of it, maybe it’s best to act on it and let it speak for itself.