“There, but for the grace of God, go I.” The words are uttered under our breath whenever misfortune strikes another person. Our boundless gratitude is barely contained as we realize we have been spared by some strange twist of fate. Or, as our words infer, God’s grace. And yet, as we look at history, we know that the lack of God’s grace has nothing to do with misfortune or disaster, tragedy or violence.
Today we enter a new era. For too many people, these are bleak and uncertain times. These are the days in which we would look upon others in similar circumstances and think, “There, but for the grace of God…”
But, here we are. Stuck in a situation in which we never imagined we would find ourselves. Imagining, fearing the worst. We find ourselves looking backward at times we’d sooner forget. And we are left wondering how we can prevail upon our better selves, how we can overcome, how we can never let history repeat itself.
Even as others are rejoicing and giving God thanks for what has come to pass, we may wonder: where is God’s grace in all this mess? How could God let this happen?
But God’s grace is not a magic elixir or spell used to protect only the blessed and chosen few. God’s grace is given to all, a gift to carry with us throughout our days even in the darkest of times.
No one knows what these next four years will bring. But what we do know is that God will be with us as surely as God has been with all people thought history when evil strikes. God’s grace will be with us bringing a balm for our wounds; peace to rest our weary, aching souls; strength to face our tomorrows; inspiration to act justly, decisively, unceasingly; wisdom to make right choices and seek and speak truth.
May God bless each of us on this day and throughout what will no doubt be a difficult journey. And may God’s grace carry us forward, keeping us ever in God’s ways as we go.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.