Top Topics


Please join us on these social networks:

Day1 Store

Books, CDs, Videos & more

Visit The Store

The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

Buy Now

The Rev. Frederick Buechner The Rev. Frederick Buechner
The Rev. Frederick Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and author of numerous bestselling books and novels. Visit

Member of:

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Representative of:

Frederick Buechner Center

Weekly Sermon Illustration: Grace

March 04, 2018

In our blog post every Monday we will select a reading from the Revised Common Lectionary for the upcoming Sunday, and pair it with a Frederick Buechner reading on the same topic. 

Next Sunday we will celebrate The Fourth Sunday in Lent.  Here is this week’s reading from the book of Ephesians: 

Ephesians 2:1-9 

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.  All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, life everyone else.  But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God - not the result of works, so that no one may boast.   

Here are Frederick Buechner’s thoughts on grace, originally from Wishful Thinking and reprinted in Beyond Words

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody's much interested any more. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left. 

Grace is something you can never get but only be given. There's no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth. 

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody? 

A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do. There's nothing you have to do

The grace of God means something like: "Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you I created the universe. I love you." 

There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you'll reach out and take it. 

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too. 

Printer print
Comment comments

Topic Tags

No current tags

Previous Article By This Author

Weekly Sermon Illustration: Foolishness

Previous Key Voice Article

Weekly Sermon Illustration: Foolishness

Next Article By This Author

Weekly Sermon Illustration: Salvation

Next Key Voice Article

Weekly Sermon Illustration: Salvation

The sermon content on this website is copyright © by the respective authors. For information on reprinting or excerpting sermon materials from this site, please contact us.