May 30, 2021

Gracioso

You, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
Psalm 92:4
The word for funny in Spanish is gracioso, which, in certain contexts, can also mean graceful. So perhaps because I lived for five years in Spanish-speaking countries, I associate grace with joy.

There are many religious traditions that would be challenged by this notion, of course. Though there are exceptions, just about all the major Christian traditions—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox—often give the impression of dour solemnity.

The scriptures can help us understand, however, why grace and fun seem to be synonyms in the minds of many Spanish-speakers. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, the people responded to God with joyful songs and even shouts of joy. And so when we read of the witness of the first Christians who shared the news of the resurrection of Jesus, it's hard to imagine that the grace that fell upon them resulted in the sort of grim religion that so many of us grew up with. No, the "great grace" that they received must surely have resulted in laughter and joy.

May the contagious joy of the gospel fill our hearts to overflowing.

With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
 Acts 4:33
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
May I respond to your grace with joy, O God, and may the joy that fills my heart be imparted to others in Jesus' Name.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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