“In him we have redemption … in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)

Imagine you have just arrived home after a long day and you fum­ble to unlock the door. When you step in the house you hear an erup­tion of voices calling out “Surprise!” The house is filled with family and friends, balloons, and more food than you’ve ever seen. Suddenly your plans for the evening have changed, and nothing else matters.

This image can give us a good idea of the way God works sometimes. He’s not always neat and organized. Sometimes he likes to leave things a bit messy. For example, Amos was just a shepherd when God called him unexpectedly to travel to Sama­ria and prophesy. It was unexpected and disrupted Amos’ plans dramati­cally. But how excited he must have been to receive such a calling! Imag­ine how excited he must have felt as he stood before the priest Amaziah and spoke God’s word.

Similarly, the disciples must have been pretty excited when Jesus told them to go heal the sick and cast out demons in his name. They must have been even more excited when they discovered that they really could do such things!

Today’s second reading gives us the astounding truth that God has already lavished his grace on us. Imagine: your heavenly Father says you are worth divine grace! It’s right there for you to take hold of it. So go ahead and grasp it—right now. Turn to him in prayer and listen for what he is saying to you. He may lead you to places you hadn’t planned to go. He may open doors to new relation­ships or a new ministry. Whatever he has to say, it is a message of grace, love, and promise.

God’s grace may come in unex­pected ways, but it is always given generously. So receive it generously as well. Your Father has great plans for you!

“Father, I am amazed at all that you have given me. Open my eyes to see your grace at work in me, and open my hands to take hold of what you have already given me.”

Amos 7:12-15; Psalm 85:9-14, Mark 6:7-13