Monday, November 30, 2015 

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. Ephesians 3:7-8 

If you ask my husband or children about me, a common answer might be: “She is stubborn, hardheaded and seldom slows down.” But when I thought I could say NO to Pat MacNicoll’s request to write an Advent devotion, God had a different plan. In the following week I observed two random acts of kindness between total strangers. The first was in the grocery line. A man two people in front of me did not have enough money on his WIC card to purchase milk for his children. He asked the clerk to run the card again. After the third time of swiping his card and hearing there was not enough money, I was reaching for my wallet. But with a brush of an angel’s wing, the lady in front of me, who previously seemed angered, reached for her wallet and said in a soft, gentle voice, “I will pay for your milk.” The second episode happened in a parking lot. Walking to my car I saw a homeless man sitting on the curb at McDonalds. A young lady walking out noticed him and handed him her bag of food. He stood up and nodded. She acknowledged him with a smile then turned and walked back into McDonalds. 

Grace: a harmonious interaction with someone by bestowing a blessing, by reaching out and extending ourselves to a total stranger. Grace: it occurs when you think no one is watching. Grace is joyous giving, unprompted and unasked for. I was finally starting to get the message. To solidify my thought, as I returned to my car, NPR was doing an interview with an author who had penned a book on grace. I knew then that God was telling me to slow down and write about his grace. What did I learn? Grace surrounds us every day. We all need to slow down, look around and see that grace is everywhere. With the Christmas season upon us, I encourage you to stop, listen. Feel the brush of an angel’s wing calm you; observe the act of generous giving; be full of compassion and understanding; and change your perceptions of how you look at those less fortunate. As human beings we all need to recognize human frailty. Dignity and grace go hand and hand. My wish for you this Christmas is to realize that grace comes from God, a divine grace God gives to all. My prayer is that grace and peace be with you. 

-Deb Reynolds 

Prayer: Father God, Lead me to make choices that bring glory to you. Help me to listen to you as much as you listen to me. Amen. 

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