Amazing Grace

We concluded our Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations here in Kyoto, Japan last evening with a Eucharist presided over by our Japanese member, Fr. Renta, at St. Agnes’ Cathedral of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei (the Anglican Church in Japan).

He told us if was the first time he had celebrated the Eucharist in English, but one would never have known that by the lovely way he presided. He also preached a moving homily on the parable of the Good Samaritan. He reflected on just how differently the “man who fell among thieves” might have lived his own life after being rescued by the Samaritan…and how perhaps he too became a minster of compassion, having been the recipient of such grace from a stranger.

To illustrate this dynamic, he told the story of a young Japanese man who had dropped out of middle school and generally made all the wrong choices as a young man. He was so depressed and ashamed of himself that he attempted to commit suicide by drenching himself with gasoline and preparing to strike a match.

However, his estranged father intervened, threw his arms around him, and also became covered with the flammable gasoline. “Go ahead and light the fire, my son,” the father shouted, “but I will never let you go!”

Unable to take his father with him into death, the young man dissolved into tears and, subsequently, began to lead a new life, eventually becoming a person of real notoriety and respect in the community. Renta said that it was because, for the first time, he knew he was loved by his father!

What a modern day parable of the Good Samaritan! What an anticipation of the Christmas miracle as God embraces us, even in the midst of our sin, and to the point of death, to show us how much we are loved.

May our lives too be transformed by an awareness of and appreciation of this amazing grace!

One Response to “Amazing Grace”

  1. rwk Says:

    Truly inspirational. Our Heavenly Father will come to us where we are but loves us to much to leave us there.

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