1.spending much more than is necessary or wise; wasteful: an extravagant shopper.
2.excessively high: extravagant expenses; extravagant prices.
3.exceeding the bounds of reason, as actions, demands, opinions, or passions.
4.going beyond what is deserved or justifiable: extravagant praise.
It’s been an amazing week for our little country church. Our biggest VBS ever…52 kids…has come and gone. In the midst of it we were excited but often felt a bit messy. What we needed in many moments, especially with the preschool/kindergarten class was extravagant grace.
So it was Friday…the last big activity with these littles.
We laid out the bright clean sheets on the lawn. They were clean and crisp. Perfect. My friend leading this VBS class, Karen, said that her parent’s had provided them. She wondered if they really wanted to be providing these sheets…they seemed to be in such good condition still. Her parents sat in the distance that day in lawn chairs in the shade. They smiled as if to nod in approval. They had come to see what this VBS is all about…to see what their daughter and grand daughters were doing. Maybe they also wanted to see extravagant grace.
We were preparing for paint but I was thinking of Jesus as I put down those sheets. An offering. These good sheets laying down in the dirt. Sheets that once had a place in a home for years soon to be splattered with red paint…perhaps thrown away. Parents nodding in approval.
We had been studying all week…Moses’ life and God’s grace to His people as He worked through Moses. All of it foreshadowing Jesus.
I often think of the baby in the basket, Pharaoh, the parting of the Red Sea, the ten commandments and wandering in the desert when I think of Moses. But what I hope the kids remember most after this past week is God’s extravagant grace.
Because behind Moses and the people who join him in these passages of the bible is Jesus.
So we go over it again…
God’s grace was pursuing Moses and the Israelites even when He saved Moses as a baby. God didn’t just save Moses, He brought Moses into the home of Pharaoh and for a purpose. God’s grace was pursuing Moses and His people as they were enabled to escape Egypt, ulitmately by the blood of a lamb. And they didn’t just escape with nothing, they escaped with whatever they asked of the Egyptians. God’s grace was pursuing them as the walked through the Red Sea and escaped Pharoah. He didn’t just get them through the Red Sea, but He fought for them. “Let us flee from before Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.” God’s grace pursued them in the desert wandering in the midst of grumbling and belief that the Lord had dealt with them bitterly. Yet He made the water sweet and He brought the bread from Heaven. And that bread was always enough and it was sweet too. God’s grace pursued them as they were given the 10 Commandments. Because even the commandments were given in the midst of grace words. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (Exodus 20). God took them as His people, made Him their God and told them how one should live as a part of His family. His commandments, if followed, show us how to live so that we receive grace from each other in His family. These commandments, lived out, is love in action. Again, grace given to His people when they were on the cusp of disobedience and idol worship.
All of this extravagant grace for a people who continually turned from it. All of this extravagant grace in circumstances when God’s people felt He had left them and had none left.
In so many ways, God was and is extravagant with His grace toward us.
He spent the perfect holy life of His Son. “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Excessively high: extravagant expenses; extravagant prices.
We often exceed the bounds of reason in our expectations, demands and grumblings in life. He often exceeds the bounds of reason in His response through His gracious actions.
He has gone and continues to go beyond what is deserved.
He pursues us when we feel weak…like how the Israelites must have felt enslaved in Egypt.
He pursues us when we feel bitter…even when we might think the Lord has dealt with us poorly.
He pursues us when we need serious rescuing. He saves us even by His own dying for us…by the blood of the lamb.
He pursues us when we need someone to fight for us. He fights our battles.
He pursues us with bread from heaven and the living water.
He pursues us by transforming us to be more like Him…gracious sanctification.
He pursues us in the midst of our sin.
So we mix powder paint and baking soda with vinegar and let it explode, gush and ooze all over the bright sheets. A visual of how God’s grace acts in our lives.
When we feel messy…maybe his abundant grace has really just exploded all over us.
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” (1 Peter 1:2)
After a long glorious but messy week of VBS, Karen tops it off with exploding paint symbolizing God’s extravagant grace. Thank you Karen, for teaching me in so many ways the last 8 years including through this kindergarten VBS lesson!
Linking up with these sweet ladies this week: