Mugs and Grace
So, here I am.
I’m sitting in an airport lounge in Singapore awaiting my connecting flight to Indonesia. Kelly Green, my travelling companion, friend and incredible missions pastor, is exloring the perfect airport in which to get lost.
I am not completely alone though – and I am not referring to the maker of heaven and earth who has promised never to leave me. No, I am referring to two Asian ladies who are eagerly stocking up on the food and beverages that will be necessary when the crowds arrive in a little under two hours. They have just stocked up on the fruit and pastries, freshened up the water for the tea and reset all the cups and plates. I’m amazed at their attention to detail. The pastries on the plate all form a pretty pattern, the sandwhiches are perfectly wrapped and the apples shine more than an English cricket ball (bet that’s got you all confused!).
But it’s the mugs that grab my attention.
I have to admit that I don’t like cups. I can’t seem to get my fingers through the tiny holes in the handles. I’m a mug man myself. My wife is a mug woman too, to the point that whenever I travel I look for a mug to bring home to her. She has quite a collection now and especially loves those Starnucks City mugs.
Back to the mugs. A confession: those mugs are no longer orderly. I decided to take one for the mocha I just downed (that’s a first; a Mocha at 2:30 in the morning!). Now there’s one mug missing and I have to admit, it looks rather odd. The order has been mugged. The difference is notable and I can’t help but spare a thought for those two ladies who spent so much time making sure that everything was as it should be. I thought I’d make things better by removing a second mug for my second mocha. Nope. I messed up the order even more.
As the last leg of my 36 hour journey draws to a close I am reminded of what I read in Colossians 1 a little earlier: the Gospel will continue to grow and bear fruit as God’s people understand ‘grace in all it’s fulness.’ In this letter Paul wants the Colossian believers to grow up in grace and reach out in the power of the Christ. His desire is that this world order be messed up by the Gospel.
That is what I want. That is why I am here. I want to teach the Gospel in all it’s truth so that these empty vessels, mugs like me, can be filled to the top with God’s grace and moved by His hand. As we are filled with a deeper understanding of grace, I know what will happen: more mugs will be removed from this Islamic order and filled to the top with God’s grace. He moves us to move others.
By the way, I am no longer alone. My wandering companion has just returned. Guess what he did first? Yep, took a mug and filled it with coffee. Now three have been removed and filled. Can’t wait for the fourth …