‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.’ Philemon 25
This verse sums up both the tension and the wonder of the Christian faith. We are called to be transformed as the light of Jesus shines into every part of us, so that we too can shine with his light to those who are around us in darkness. Yet we know that this is not something we can achieve by our own effort and energy. The change happens within.
This is what this verse is hinting at: it is more than us learning to act in a graceful way. God’s grace is to emanate from deep within us, so that our very spirits may be touched by it. Achieving this is probably best illustrated by the image of a brick in a bucket of water. To begin with only the outside of the brick will get wet, but the longer the brick is immersed, then the more the water will seep through to the core.
Our calling is to abide in Christ: to seek a relationship with him where we seek his presence and companionship at all times. This may take a lifetime – but it can begin today. Spend a few minutes letting the name ‘Jesus’ be on your lips, and come back to this throughout the day – already the water begins to go deeper.