Grace be with you” is a phrase we hear a lot. But what exactly is grace? Grace is kindness that we do not deserve. It is unmerited favor, never earned but simply given. It’s a hand that holds you up whenever you are falling and God’s empowerment to do good works that you would otherwise not be capable of doing. When we look out at the world and see the crime and poverty, the chaos and sadness, the perversion of our inner being and the marring of creation, our hearts can lead us to think that we are in for an inevitable fall that rings with finality. But then we see the beauty of a sunset or the crisp green blades of grass in the park and know that this world is doing more than just falling into an abyss of destruction. The taste of orange juice as it swishes in our mouth before we go out for a morning jog is a rebellious goodness in the face of every pain that we have suffered. The good news of a baby being born far outweighs last night’s bad news of killing and treachery. That’s the reality of grace. We do not deserve it, but it is every good gift from the hand of God.
The thing about grace is that it is unmerited favor that we receive not just as a one time thing. It is a constant in our lives because we are constantly falling. At our highest moments there is always the downward descent of decay and destruction that life inevitably brings. Even when our lives are filled with constant pain, there is grace in that we do not even control our own existence and that is a gift. Without grace, we would not be here. On a deeper level, followers of Christ believe that the truest and purest form of grace is in the person of Jesus Christ. It is through him and his death, burial, and resurrection that all of the goodness of God has become actualized. Every bad thing in life can bring us down and make us fall—including death. Grace is the hand that stops that fall.