the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Instead, they tell Jesus to do all of the work.Just send them off Jesus. It is as if they expect Him to just say the magic words“Colonel Sanders” and everyone will have their own bucket of chicken.
In many ways, we are just like the disciples. We too often fail the test on whatit means to be a follower of Jesus. We have not learned what discipleship means.When Jesus asks us to take care of our neighbor, our answer too often is, “Jesusgo ﬁnd someone else to do the work.”Whetheritis childrenwith HIV/AIDS,orthehungry, ortheoppressed, orevenif it is those who are dying throughout the US due to the current heat wave, wetoo often do the same things that the disciples did. We want God to work throughsomeone else. We pray God send workers to those people when in fact Jesus istelling us, His disciples, to get up and work on the needs of the people.What comes next in the feeding of the ﬁve thousand is the real miracle of thestory. Jesus does not blast the twelve disciples out of existence for their mistakeswhen they continue to tell God what to do by saying, “We have only ﬁve loaves of bread and two ﬁsh.” It’s like they are saying, “Jesus, get a life, we have checkedout everything and there is no food. You really need to do exactly what we havealready told you to do!” Instead of destroying them for their insolent attitudetowards God, Jesus once again shows them what disciples do. After telling thecrowd to get ready to eat, Jesus blesses the work that God has done and then givesthe disciples something to do: feed the hungry and clean up the leftovers.Grace is just like Christ’s actions with the twelve disciples. Grace accepts usas we are and works with us even though we continue to make mistakes. We falldown and God picks us up.This idea of grace is what separates Christianity from the rest of the universebecause the rest of the universe is built on the concept of karma. Karma, physics,and for the most part all of our life tells us that for every action there is an oppositeand equal reaction.
You hurt someone; you get hurt in return: “An eye for an eyeand a tooth for a tooth.” Grace is radically different for in grace you do not reapwhat you sow. We are given something that we do not deserve. Even when we arenot doing what God wants, God loves us in spite of our actions. This whole ideais counter to everything that we know but this is how God works in the world.My experience of grace at Texas A&M was found in the other students whoaccepted me even though I was having problems with my chemistry tests. They
Thanks to Brian P. Stoffregen for this example.
These ideas on karma and grace are based on Bono’s song “Grace” and the chapter “AddEternity to That” from the book
Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas.