The Salvation Army for a new generation

Grace

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

Grace, it’s the name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Lyrics: Bono and The Edge

This song Grace is a track on the successful album All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2, released in 2000, which sold over 12 million copies and featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Speaking about the song lyrics, Bono said:

‘There are a couple of my favourite people rolled into that lyric. But the most important thing is that they personify my favourite word in the lexicon of the English language. It’s a word I’m depending on. The universe operates by karma, we all know that. For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. There is atonement built in: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Then enters Grace and turns that upside down. I love it.’1 ‘Grace is the idea I get most excited about, more so than karma. If I have to live by karma then I’m coming back as a frog.’

During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world were discussing whether any one belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time, until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. ‘What’s the rumpus about?’ he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. In his forthright manner, Lewis responded, ‘Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.’… The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every instinct of humanity. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.

In a society where young people are constantly tested, measured and awarded according to achievements, and where the idea of karma – you get what you deserve – is so ingrained, grace is a completely different way of living. As Bono said, it is a word that we can depend on. But it’s not about the word… it’s about the person that makes it possible, and that’s Jesus. Grace is totally undeserved, freely offered and guaranteed to those who accept it.

By using our Grace themed cell material throughout this month, we pray that you will be able to open your eyes to God’s grace and be transformed by it.

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