The Triumph of Grace
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) was a renowned English poet, playwright and crime writer. Her most famous character was Lord Peter Wimsey, an amateur detective in crime mysteries set between WW1 and WW2. Lord Wimsey was an aristocrat, rich and well connected, but always unlucky in love. He was dashing by morning but lonely by evening. Suddenly, a woman appears in the series named Harriet Vane who bears a striking resemblance to Dorothy Sayers herself. She and Lord Wimsey solve mysteries together, but more importantly they fall in love and are eventually married, living happily ever after. Dorothy Sayers saw that her creation, Lord Peter Wimsey, was lonely and unloved, and she wrote herself into his story so he might find love, experience meaning and taste grace.
When I was 13, a revivalist preacher at a camp meeting was expounding on the story of Hosea and Gomer and God’s yearning love for wayward hearts. As the organist played “The Old Rugged Cross,” and the altar call was made, I went forward. My heart was won! On that day, God wrote Himself into my life story so I could find love, experience meaning and taste grace.
This is the meaning of the Incarnation. God knew how far we had wandered from Paradise Lost, and only He knew our path back to Paradise Regained. He saw our misery. He grieved over the tragedy of sin. He heard the cry of our hearts for love, meaning and grace, and in loving mercy He wrote Himself into our story in a way all can understand—the Babe of Bethlehem. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given” (Isa. 9:6).
Jesus Christ did not claim prophethood like Muhammad, wisdom like Socrates or enlightenment like Buddha. No. He is God incarnate. He did not come to point us to a higher reality, but He wrote Himself into our story to save us—to do for us what we could not do for ourselves (John 3:17). In beholding Jesus in all His grace and truth, we can not only see our Heavenly Father more clearly than ever before, we can also be reconciled by faith with our loving Creator. Only thus can we as the human race find love, experience meaning and taste grace.
And what about those who have never heard the gospel? Around the world, AFM missionaries labor night and day among the unreached to introduce Jesus Christ into their life stories so that they, too, might find love, experience meaning and taste grace. Each missionary has a story to tell of God’s goodness in their own life, so they can invite the unreached to “taste and see that God is good” for themselves (Ps. 34:8).
I tasted God’s grace at 13 years old. He wrote Himself into my life story, and my life was forever changed. To Him be the glory! My prayer is that His grace does not stop with any of us, but that in the coming year it will flow as a life-giving stream through our prayers, personal witness, encouragement and financial support of front-line missionaries to the unreached; that our loving Creator may enter their lives, and all humanity may find love, experience meaning and taste grace.