Grace Preceding and Following

When I walk our Newfoundland, Wisconsin, in the cemetery a block away up the street, I do my best to keep other people in front of us.  Wisconsin doesn’t like anyone behind him.  He turns his head and keeps watch.  Ever try to pull a 140 dog forward when he is more interested in what is behind?

If only Wisconsin could understand the first sentence of the Prayer of the Day from Sunday.  “Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us.”  Because while we are worried about the past and what may be sneaking up on us we lose sight of the future and where we are headed.

However, the prayer reminds us that grace covers our past even as we walk behind Christ into our future, or shall I say into His future.

The rich man who wanted to know what he must do to secure his future in eternal life was challenged by Jesus to give all he had accumulated in the past to the poor that they might have a secure future.  He was unable to divest himself of his earthly treasure in order to accumulate the treasure of eternal life in the presence of God.

We can apply the same thinking to the accumulation of wrongs and failures that pile up as we get older.  Give them away to Christ who made himself poor that we might become rich.  At times giving them away to Christ is as difficult as giving away our possessions.  For some reason we like to hold onto our failures and those of others toward us, as if they were to be treasured, and maybe they are, but we gain nothing by them.

The rest of the prayer has a broader scope than the earthly possessions we accumulate.  It also applies to our sins.  As we revisit the prayer for Sunday we do so with a wider application.

Lord Jesus Christ, whose grace always precedes and follows us, help us forsake all trust in earthly gain and to find in You our heavenly treasure; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

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