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The injustice of grace

CMS has a number of workerwho live and serve in Muslim-majority countries. One such worker is learning Arabic and the culture of her Middle Eastern country as she befriends local women. She shares a recent conversation with her language teacher. 

We were sitting in the courtyard of our favourite cafe, drinking chai and catching up on the week. It was time to read another chapter together, so I opened my Arabic Bible to the book of Mark. It was then that my friend W* asked me a question. 

“How do you pray?” 

In her mind, we don’t. After all, we have no specific times of the day when we must pray, and no movements accompany our prayers. 

How could I explain to her that we have the privilege to come before our mighty creator, call him Father and know his tender presence with us?  

As I began to explain, our conversation meandered across many topics. In the end, we kept circling around one question. 

I asked her, “How can a pure and holy God accept me when I am incapable of approaching him?” 

“He is merciful, he will always forgive you,” W replied. 

There were two glasses of water on the table between us. I took my glass and motioned to put some dirt in it. 

“If I put dirt in my water then it is impure, isn’t it?”  

She agreed. 

“But what if I keep pouring clean water into it?” 

“It is still dirty,” she replied. 

I then went on to explain that Jesus has exchanged my dirty cup of water for his clean cup of water. Only then, can I offer up my cup of water and it be acceptable to a holy God. 

W was startled and exclaimed, “But that is not fair!” 

I agreed. It’s not fair, it’s an undeserved gift from God. 

The Arabic reading lesson was postponed, and we left mulling over each other’s responses. 

Please pray for W. Our conversation was a gift and I long for her to know more, but especially for her to know the person of Jesus as we read together.  

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

PRAY 

Pray for the ministry of CMS workers as they do life in Muslim-majority countries. Pray that God’s grace will shine through their words and actions and that people like W, will come to know Jesus. 

* Name removed for privacy reasons.