Scripture Reference: Luke 6:17-26 & 37-42

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.  — 2 Timothy 1:9

It’s been over 20 years. Still, I have not forgotten the smells that greeted me as I entered that house. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pine, intermingled with the aroma of something wonderful wafting from the kitchen.  In the background I could hear the soothing sound of a hammer dulcimer and guitar, as well as, a female trio singing a traditional Christmas Carol. This was, on occasion, interrupted by a surge from the crackling fire. I felt its warmth immediately and its soft glow flickered throughout the room. 

In the adjoining room was a table draped with a red table cloth. And on it were set plain white dinner plates surrounded by unobtrusive silverware. Red napkins peeked out of goblets like the tuft of a pocket kerchief.  A simple centerpiece of pine cones and poinsettias added a touch of elegance.


The hostess seated us and the host welcomed us.  As we were being served the food I noticed a side dish that I hadn’t eaten since childhood. I remember being very fond of it and it astonished me how much it resembled the way my mother prepared it. Before I could say anything one of the other guests said in astonishment; “Oh you put pearl onions in the peas! I love peas served that way and no one ever does that.”  The hostess replied; “I know, your sister told me.”

After we finished our supper there was an invitation to move to the living room. Presented there were homemade chocolate chip cookies and flavored coffees. The chocolate chip cookies were a particular favorite of one of the other guests and the hostess made them using his wife’s recipe.

It turned out that our hostess had contacted a friend or family member of each guest. She did so, searching for something she could serve that would delight them.  Can you imagine doing that!? 

The whole evening was like that. From the music selection, to the menu to the conversation afterwards. The host and hostess had designed the evening to make sure that each individual guest was comfortable and felt cared about. Can you imagine how much time that must have taken!?  I will always remember that evening. I describe our treatment that evening by this one word; “gracious.”


Grace is a gift as you cannot earn it. It isn’t given out of duty or obligation. One can only give it freely through love. In this story I am reminded that God’s gift of salvation through Jesus is also a gracious gift.  It was also costly. And although offered to everyone, God tailored it to meet the need of each individual’s sin. God’s grace is a gift, offered through His love and enjoyed only by those who are willing to accept His invitation of His grace.

— Rev Ruth Morgan, Morgantown Church of the Nazarene

Persecuted Nation: #19 Laos