(Clergy talk)

Key points:
  • Grace is the undeserved free gift of God’s love – we cannot earn it.
  • Grace is freely available to all, but we consciously choose to accept or reject it.
  1. After the last talk we looked at what forms our ideal. Now we might consider what God’s ideal might be.
  2. It’s important to focus on what God is doing through grace, and not move too far into what our response to grace is – the talks later on Faith and Life in Grace deal with this.
  3. The emphasis is on the all-encompassing nature of grace; that it is freely given and freely available to all. Deep within us all is an expectation that we must earn God’s grace by our conscious response to it, but the whole raison d’etre of the Cursillo revolves around modelling and demonstrating the overwhelming love of God.

“In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us.” (1John 4.10) The Pelagian heresy* is insidious. It appeals naturally to our inbuilt sense of fairness and quid-pro-quo desire for what we see as justice. There may well be those listening who have never questioned a whole way of life based on “if I’m good, God will like me.” To hear that God’s love is equally shared with sinners and saints alike may be deeply disturbing. Overcoming a sense of unworthiness at our own shortcomings is beyond the scope of this short talk, but we can at least provoke a response and a questioning.

*Pelagianism is a theological position that holds that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans have the free will to achieve human perfection by their own efforts and without divine grace.