Saturday, September 3, 2011

Amazing Grace....

This is the so-far completed left-side tapestry for the Nativity church that I am weaving. This lower border includes an anchor, which I already discussed here. It also has a banner with the word "Grace" on it, and a branch of flowers, which are Rose of Sharon blooms.

So what led me to include the banner of Grace in this tapestry? How could grace not be a part of it? It is a part of every true relationship with God. In fact, it is the crucial part of our hope in Him.

Here is the online dictionary's definition of grace:


Favor or goodwill. kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.

A manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean's grace that I wasn't expelled from school. forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. animosity, enmity, disfavor.

Mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. lenity, leniency, reprieve. harshness.

All of those things define Grace, but it is so much more. Christian teaching is that grace is unmerited mercy; it is receiving something, everything of any value, really, even though there is no way we can earn or deserve it. It is being given something that we cannot pay for or give anything back for.

I know a lot of truly good and deeply spiritual people. But I know some of them well enough to know that even they are not perfect and must rely on God's grace, which has already been given to them with overflowing, unmerited, never failing Love, for forgiveness and for a lifeline to God.

Grace is what it is all about. When we sing this version of Amazing Grace in church, I truly feel God's grace, and it can be an overwhelming thing. I can rarely end the song out loud.

Amazing grace. Truly amazing. I hope those who view the tapestry as they worship will be ever mindful of God's Amazing Grace.

The rose, or the Rose of Sharon, is seen by much of the religious community as a symbol of purity, beauty, and of the Passion of Christ. The region of Sharon was a valley known for it's beautiful wildflowers. Since we also live in a valley rich in wildflowers, and Jesus has been called the Rose of Sharon in many hymns and analogies (though not in an actual direct way in the New Testament), I have included this bunch of flowers in this tapestry border to symbolize the beauty of Christ, as well as the beauty of our natural world - and the connection they share in the Father/Creator.

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