Read 2 Timothy 1:9
9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. (NLT)
We rightly recognise that our relationship with God is only made possible by the grace or unmerited kindness of God. Jesus is the supreme expression of this grace. But when we think about it, life itself is founded on grace. God didn’t have to create us. God didn’t have to give us beauty to admire or people to have and to hold.
We are born into a world we did not make and into a family we did not choose. We are born with appearance, aptitude, and attitude that may be modified in time but again are not of our creation. Such grace is common to all. The theologians thus call this common grace, as distinct from the special or saving grace that comes through the offer of new life through Jesus Christ.
In this sense, all is gift, all is grace. Not just our salvation, but life itself. This grace is not some magic potion that makes everything turn out alright. It is not some sort of vaccination which gives us immunity from hardship or setback. It is simply an offer of life in all its messiness and contradictions and yet with the promise of the presence of God.
The American writer Frederick Beuchner puts it well: “Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are, because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you.”