Grace can be cheap, costly

The Rev. Adrian F. Sunday, of Buckland United Church of Christ,  spoke at Wednesday’s Lenten Luncheon on “Save Yourself and Us,” which is one of the seven words to the cross — the theme to this year’s luncheons.

“We have to use our imagination to understand what the two men hanging on a cross beside Jesus were like,” Sunday said, as he started out his meditation in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

Sunday said what we do know are that both men were thieves, and one said to Jesus, “Save yourself and us.”

This saying was known as “cheap grace.”

Sunday talked about “cheap grace” and “costly grace,” which he read in a book by a university professor and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer titled “The Cost of Discipleship.”

Examples of “cheap grace” are communion without confession, grace without discipleship and grace without a cross.

“One of the thieves asked for ‘cheap grace’ when he said ‘Save Yourself and Us,’” Sunday said. “The thought was solely of himself. But I can’t say I blame him — he didn’t want to die.”

An example of “costly grace” is the call of Jesus Christ at which a disciple leaves and follows Him and “costly grace” is something that must be sought again and again.

The other thief on the cross had respect to say “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

“God asked us to become disciples,” Sunday said.

Sunday reflected on a hymn that he spoke about last year at the Lenten Luncheon services, which is “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

“For a love so divine requires my life, my soul and my all,” Sunday said, referring to a verse that was read last year. “If we love God, we should be willing to give our all. Our all that we have. We owe our life, our soul, our all.”

The Buckland United Church of Christ, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, of Glynwood, and the Wapakoneta Family YMCA helped to organize Wednesday’s luncheon.

On April 4, the Rev. Becky Sunday, of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, will be speak on the topic of “If You Are King of the Jews, Save Yourself” at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Wapakoneta.