4. The Privilege of Grace

The Privilege of Grace

Part 4 of the Spotlight series "Equality is Passing" 
If there were one song that you could make sure the rest of the world would hear, what song would it be? 
Once you've broken the ice, get into the idea of this Spotlight with the another question, this one about losing on purpose. Use the clip below for this.
(And welcome, by the way! It's great that you're here!)
Hopefully that makes enough sense to get you started.

Pray this prayer to get into it:
Your nature is gracious,
your attitude is generous,
and your way is one of unconditional love.
Teach us to walk in that way,
to adopt that attitude,
and to find in our new selves
your nature,
made in your image.

Welcome Perspective: Anyone can share in the awesome privilege of extending grace.
Begin by reading this little story.
Continue with this responsive reading.

Group: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

"God is great and greatly to be praised. His greatness is unsearchable." (Psalm 145:3)
"Yet He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant." (Philippians 2:7)

"The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength." (Psalm 93:1)
Yet "[Jesus] got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.." (John 13:14-15)

"By Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible." (Colossians 1:16)
"In His humility, His judgment was taken away, and who can speak of His descendants? For His life was taken from the earth." (Acts 8:33)

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers." (Isaiah 40:22)
"He said, 'I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Matthew 11:29)

Imagine you are standing at the edge of an endless ocean, its waters stretching to the horizon and beyond. This ocean is the love of God—boundless, unfathomable, and uncontainable. You stand at its shores, with nothing in your hands—no gifts to offer, no achievements to boast, nothing that could possibly merit the depth of love that God is saying is yours.
To think you could in some way earn what lies before you is like believing you could empty the ocean with a cup. It's not just an impossible task; it's a misunderstanding of the ocean's nature. God's love for you was never meant to be able to be earned. It is freely given, a testament to who He is, not who you are or could ever hope to be.
Attempting to earn God's love is like trying to empty the ocean—it only leads to exhaustion and frustration. But realizing that His love is a gift, that His grace is freely bestowed upon you, brings with it a freedom like no other. It frees you from the impossible burden of trying to be equal with God.
In this truth, there is comfort, and there is a unique opportunity. If God has loved you regardless of whether or not you deserve it, you can reflect the same love, to others and back to God. You, too, can love like he loves, without calculation. With grace. Because grace can be given, but it cannot be taken and it cannot be stored up and hoarded. Grace is a posture, the very posture of God, and you were made in his image, saved by grace alone, for grace alone. 
Worship Perspective: It's impossible to hoard grace - it's only yours when you're giving it.
Learn Perspective: Seek to recognize the unearned advantage that giving grace gives you.

A Holy Week Offering for Justice

As Illume marches toward Holy Week 2024, we’re choosing a justice-oriented organization toward whom our offerings will be donated. Participate in the voting through the presentation below. 
Serve Perspective: Serving graciously subverts the tyranny of (in)equality.

Prayer Requests

Pray Together
Let's pray about the organizations your group just voted on. Each person in the group is invited to pray for whichever organization they voted for. 
Farewell Perspective: Unconditional love can replace the pursuit of equality.

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