Saving Grace

We are ordinary, sinful people God calls into service

“Now on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” – John 20:1-2

How are you about giving someone another chance? Do you hold grudges? Do you say, “Once bitten, twice shy?”

We have all been given a second chance through Christ Jesus. There was a time when we were far away from God. We were enemies of God; however, He forgave and renewed us in Christ Jesus.

What if God held grudges? What if He looked at sinful humanity and said, “No! I will not redeem them.”

Thank the Lord our God has a big heart. Praise the Lord, He is a God who knows how to forgive. He is a God who has compassion on His creation and says, “I will provide for them, I will draw all men unto me.”

Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, a woman who had been an outcast in her own society. According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus had cast seven demons out of her.

Had she been in our world today, we would have called her all kinds of derogatory names. We probably would not have allowed her near us. Yet, Jesus forgave her and utilized her for ministry.

The text tells us that she had gone to the tomb early on Sunday morning. Luke, in his Gospel, reports, “They went to the tomb taking spices they had prepared.” This apparently was to anoint Jesus’ body.

When she reached the tomb, the stone that covered the entrance had been rolled away. What an experience for her. John reports that she left immediately and reported what had happened to Peter.

Why was this labeled woman the first to report the resurrection to the disciples? Why didn’t a person who ranked higher on the scale of Jesus’ disciples first find out about the resurrection?

This tells us about the nature of God. God is no respecter of persons. Mary had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. She was a child of God, therefore, she was not lower than Peter or the rest of the disciples.

Jesus embraced sinners and tax collectors because he did not look at the outward appearance of those who sought him out. He looked at the heart and therefore saw those who came to him for what they were – lost souls seeking the mercies of God.

He first appeared to Mary. Then he sent her on an errand to carry the first resurrection message and tell the Easter story.

God uses you and me to take His word to the people. There is nothing special about us. We are not the best educated, or the most eloquent, or of special birth. We are ordinary, sinful people whom God called into service. Amen.

• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org

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