The theme of the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston is “This Changes Everything”. What is “this”? The grace of God, as described in that perfect Lutheran verse, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
What is the grace of God? The end of that verse says “it is a gift”. What gifts have you received from God? Let’s start with your eyes and ears, because you’re either reading this or having it read to you. Then let’s go to your mind. And from there your whole body. Life. The home you live in. The nature around it. The food nature created. The air you and nature breathe. The sun that fuels our planet. On and on. Everything. Grace. Gift.
But that grace isn’t what changes everything. Everything we have is grace. Everything that exists is grace. But what’s that specific grace that changes everything?
Paul in Ephesians says it’s being made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5). He repeats himself, saying again that we are created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). Yeah, you were created in your mother’s womb. So was everyone else. Extraordinary yet universal grace. But this radical everything-changing grace? It’s a new birth, where we aren’t born sinners like before but as saints.
You’re the living grace of God. Say that out loud. “I’m the living grace of God.” Wow. Literally wow. You were created in Jesus, given life through Christ. What does that mean? How does this affect your life?
Say that aloud again. “I’m the living grace of God.” Wow. That’s a powerful statement. Do you believe that? Amazing! What do you think this truth changes for you? I’ll give you a hint. ;-)