“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died.”

Zechariah 12:10

 

Grace – noun

Simple elegance or refinement of movement

(In Christian belief) The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.

A divinely given talent or blessing

‘the graces of the Holy Spirit’

I just LOVE the smell of rain!!! In fact, I actually enjoy thunderstorms – well at least now, that is. That wasn’t always the case as a child, but thanks to my wonderful, gracious father, I was given the joy of seeing them in a different way.

Normally, whenever the lightning would flash I would cringe knowing that soon to follow was that horrendous CRACK of noise that would send me running for cover under a blanket.

My dad decided that I should meet this fear head-on. So, during a thunderstorm one summer evening, he took me out on our front porch – squatted against the brick wall of the house so that his lap was a seat for me, and then embraced me with his loving arms.

KABOOM – it happened – and I was terrified, trying to wiggle my way out of his arms to run inside. He was so patient with me as he gently assured me there was nothing to fear in that loud noise. He then went on to explain that the “flash of light” was the thing to fear and respect because that is the part of the storm that can harm you if you don’t take proper cover. The sound of his gentle voice magically made me no longer afraid – to the point that I wanted to stay on the porch through the entire storm. He had to take a break now and then from being my human chair, but we rode out the entire storm together, and because of that gracious move on his part, is the true reason I now LOVE THUNDERSTORMS!!!

Just as a good rain feeds all of nature that is thirsty, while the trees and plants seem to lift their leaves in happiness, so does God pour on us the Holy Spirit that will produce a heart full of exaltation.

Pancreatic cancer pierced the organ and destroyed my father’s body, and I mourned the death of my father when it finally happened. After all, I had only one father, and he was taken from me earlier than my heart could bear. He was so gracious – the epitome of unconditional love, and now he was gone! He never once complained as his body betrayed him – so why him and not some wretched person who deserved death? As part of the stages of mourning there is certainly a bout of bitterness that can occur. I was just so blessed to have an earthly father that showed me grace, and demonstrated what the spirit of grace could do living inside my heart!!!

We have all been given the spirit of grace, and we mourn the death Jesus so graciously accepted because we – every one of us – by our sin, pierced Jesus. But as foretold, we also know that we are saved by God’s free grace, through faith in Christ’s atoning death and resurrection.

That baby boy, God’s only son, was born to redeem us of our sins – HE is the most precious gift we will ever receive at Christmas!!!