While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!”, and he touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:47-51

When you come to arrest me, even though I am innocent, and I choose to protect you and heal you rather than fight and kill you, that is called grace. Grace is a gift that is undeserved. There is nothing we can do to earn it, and nothing we can give to purchase it.

When God sent His Son, the story we celebrate at Christmas, it was an act of grace. Grace is God’s gift to us in His Son Jesus. If we have managed to live our lives perfectly, without sin,  then we don’t need grace. But God, who created us, who sustains us, who knows exactly who we are, what we think, and what we do, says we all have sinned. We all need grace.

So the simple reality this Christmas is that you and I need grace.  We need grace as we go about this day. Because of grace we are freed from the power of sin today and forever in Christ.

It is God’s grace that delays the return of Jesus, giving time for as many as possible to recognize their need for God’s grace. Christmas reminds us that God is gracious toward us, sending His Son Jesus, who lived, died, and lives again, so we might know God’s grace.

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