“The word became a human and lived among us. We saw his glory – the glory that belongs to the only Son of the Father – and he was full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (New Century Version)
I love that phrase “he was full of grace and truth.” Grace sometimes feels like one of those words that is difficult to define. It feels like we know what it is, but we don’t quite know how to say it.
Today I was thinking about the idea of a grace period. When you are late paying a bill, a company will often have what they call a grace period – a period of time where, even though your payment is late, they won’t charge you any fees or give you any penalties. It’s like they are acknowledging that you are a human being that makes mistakes. Most people have had a time when a bill accidentally got misplaced or when somehow you missed the date because a lot of things were going on in your life. A grace period is a way of saying, “That’s ok. We know that these things happen.”
I think that’s a little what Jesus’ grace is like. Jesus knows that we are human. Jesus was human too. He knows that people are imperfect and make mistakes – that they don’t always do the things that they should. So Jesus offers grace – forgiveness for the places where we fall short. But while the grace period a company offers us is usually a few days or maybe a few weeks – Jesus’ grace is wide.
When I was thinking about these words – grace and truth – I was reminded of one of the Christmas carols we love to sing at this time of year – Joy to the World.
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove, the glories of his righteousness
And wonders of His love, and wonders of His love,
And wonders and wonders of His love.
Jesus’ truth and grace is a wonder of His love. Jesus loves us and offers us grace as a gift of his wonderful love. Jesus looks at our human weakness, our mistakes and shortcomings and loves us – and offers us grace. What a gift this is!