We started a couple new things at church today including a 5-week course in order to join the church and a new sermon series to explore the fruits of the Spirit.
The elements of the discussion in the membership class were focussed on Grace. It got me thinking of an analogy that ties in to my work.
As some of you know, I run the photo department in a pharmacy and for some reason I have a hard problem with accepting people wanting to go through their pictures before paying for them. Obviously the plan they have is to see what pictures they do not like and to try not to pay for them. You see, they bought their film, took the pictures and brought them to me to process. I then use the eqipment my employer bought and the products needed to process and print the film to process this roll for this guest. Now, in what way does it make sense for the guest to NOT be responsible for paying for all of the prints? They are the ones who aimed the camera at the floor, or shot the picture without a flash, or shot the picture with their finger over the lens....
There is an expectation that if you shoot a blurry or otherwise crappy picture then you do not have to pay for it. How is this possible?
If I were to go to an art supply store and buy some paint, brushes and a canvas, then go home and paint a picture tat I don't like because I suck at painting, should I be allowed to take all the material back to the store for a refund?
So here's the positive analogy. We were discussing grace and how to explain it to people and this is what I thought about today.
Imagine your life is a large role of pictures. When you die you are to be judged. The pictures of the times you messed up in life. When you slighted another person, dishonored your family, sinned in any way. Jesus is the guy at the photo counter. He not only will not charge you for those pictures, but he will pay for them himself. In doing so, you have an album of nothing but shots you can be proud of. He takes responsibility for your mistakes and you get the benefit.
This is Grace.
The only hitch is, it does not come entirely free. Sure there is no charge, but the cost of receiving grace is the submission to God and the request of his Son to take responsibility for your lousy photos. He will do it without reseration, but only if you ask.
This is Grace at the photo counter.