I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:4 NIV)
I am grateful for God’s grace in my life. God displays his grace to me at the time when I least expect it. Sometimes when I am at the low point in my life, somehow out of nowhere God shows me his grace. I remember being without a church in 2015-2016 and wondering if I should remain a pastor. It was tough as we did not know if we would stay in Mississauga and wondered where Luke would go to secondary school. Then out of nowhere God made St. Andrew’s Streetsville available and Luke could start at the local high school in Streetsville.
This next thing I would like to share is something that we least expect about God’s grace. God’s grace is messy. It is not neatly packaged. Things might not look good around us, but God’s grace is present preventing even a greater disaster. God’s messy grace is often unseen.
When I look at my life, I can testify that my most profound experiences of God’s grace when I was experiencing chaos and disconnect in my life.
Paul is aware that God’s grace is present in the Corinthian church despite their messy situation. There are families breaking up and people sleeping with each other. The non-Jews in the church come from an unchurched background. They grew up in pagan temples which had temple prostitutes and practised rituals with food offered to idols. They had given their lives to Jesus the Messiah. But they still need to think through how this decision impacts their lives. For example, can they still eat the food offered to idols and then come celebrate the Lord’s Supper (Jesus’ meal)? Then in Corinth, there is this false teaching which says that there is no such thing as resurrection. Some do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead. When you die, that’s it. Everything goes blank.
The church at Corinth certainly has many challenges. Will God still stand with them? Does God still pour out his grace on the Corinthian church? Paul believes so.
For in him you have been enriched in every way – with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge – 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. (1 Corinthians 1:5-6 NIV)
Things may not look good at Corinth, but God is committed to being with the church. There is hope for them. Thinks may not look good for us, but God is committed to being with us. There is hope for us. God’s grace is sometimes messy, but it is there.