You know the whole thing about the virgin birth, Mary and Joseph; I mean whatever happened to Joseph, and the cousin John living out in the desert eating bugs and honey? There is a lot to this story that’s kind of messy, I mean it’s not as clean and tidy of a script, as one might think it should be. This is the story of how God reveals his very personality to us through Jesus. The lives we live have some shadows, things we tend to slide under the rug, choose not to think about too often; but of course, in the story that God spelled out for us to read, everything is right there in the open. But grace abounds.
The Pharisee said, “God, I thank thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax gatherer”. A short distance away a tax gatherer stands, unable to raise his eyes up, pleads for God’s mercy. The Lord responds to this story, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted. And grace abounds.
Norman Maclean said “…grace comes by art, and art does not come easy”. A skillful craftsmen once commented on his work. “It is not the beauty of the finished piece but the challenge to carve out the beautiful image that came before it”. What would you or I be had not the almighty first conceived it. How is it that I could despair of any man, when I consider my life apart from the grace of God – Oswald had a way with words, didn’t he? Life happens while we breath; and every breath, brings one more opportunity for God to chisel out His art in us. Ain’t it so.