by Josh Caudill
"Love covers a multitude of sins," Peter tells us (1 Peter 4:8). He goes on to tell us what this looks like in action: "as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another" (4:10).
The passage here is both a challenge and an encouragement. My gifts exist for the service of those around me. Yet, I am also reminded that God's vision is that the gifts of those in my community are to be stewarded on my behalf. It's a vision of Acts 2:42-47, wherein we see a picture of God's people serving one another in love and humility.
This passage is also beautiful as a reminder of how small my view of God can be. Peter tells us, after all, that we exercise our gifts "as good stewards of God's varied grace".
Varied grace. This isn't the kind of grace I tend to think about, which is uniform grace. Uniform grace is the kind of grace I'm used to; it's the way I see God work in my life over and over.
But uniform grace is not really grace at all. When I only expect God to work in my life in the same manner, I'm not open to change. Even more, this perspective--that grace is uniform, that it looks a certain way at all times--ignores the ways that God works His grace in the lives of others.
My community at Redeemer has been a constant reminder of the variations in the symphony that is God's grace. I'm constantly in fellowship with people who are different from me in my regroup, and the more I hear their stories, the more I am reminded of how big God really is. I serve weekly with fellow volunteers whose stories are different than mine, and I get to see them steward this varied grace by serving.
Yesterday, we celebrated the varied grace of God by celebrating the variety of service in our church. I encourage you to seek at least one volunteer at Redeemer this week and find out their story. Ask them about God's varied grace in their life, and ask them how God's grace has been demonstrated in their service.
Grace & Peace