Summary: A 5-year-old with a broken foot in a wheelchair at DisneyWorld among caring people is a metaphor for grace.
I want to think with you this morning about the grace of God.
The text is from Ephesians, the first chapter, verses 6, 7, and 8:
"Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear son. How great is the grace of God which he gave to us in such large measure."
I was treated some time ago to an amazing example of grace. My wife and I took most of our family to Disney World when the grandchildren were little. There were nine of us in the party, including three grandchildren, and we spent five days doing the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, and the new MGM Studio Tour. Let me tell you, when you have nine people living together, standing together in the hot sun trying to decide which ride to go on next, you need a lot of grace!
We left early in the morning, and flew to Orlando. On the previous evening, our grandson, five-year-old Robbie, had fallen over the dog and hurt his foot. His parents took him to the hospital where they x-rayed his foot, pronounced it OK, wrapped it in an Ace bandage, and told him to go enjoy Disney World.
We got to Florida the next day, arrived at the Magic Kingdom at about 4:00 p.m., and spent the next seven hours riding on Space Mountain and doing everything else you do there, with Robbie running around on his taped foot. We arrived back at the motel at midnight to find a call waiting for us. The hospital had called back and the message was relayed to us: They had looked at the x-ray again and had discovered that his foot was broken.
So, Robbie and his parents spent all the next morning at the hospital getting a cast put on his foot. We waited for them by swimming in the motel pool with the other two grandkids. Not exactly how we had expected to spend our time in Florida. When they got back about 1:00 p.m. we ate a quick lunch and went to Epcot. The first thing we did was to rent a wheelchair for Robbie, to avoid carrying him and to keep from tiring him out by walking. They had fitted his cast with a shoe and he could walk on it, but it was a lot easier on everyone to push him around in a wheel chair. It saved his energy, and extended the day. Even so, as we entered the park we thought; pushing him around in this thing for four days is going to be a drag.
Well, we were wrong! That wheel chair was the open sesame to an experience of grace that I have never seen before. The very first thing we did was to get in the line for Spaceship Earth, the ride inside the huge geodesic dome which is the symbol for EPCOT. But no sooner had we gotten in the line than a man with a walky-talky and a uniform and his name on a little tag came along and said, "There’s a wheelchair line inside if you want to go in there." So we went inside and, although we didn’t save any time, we were able to sit down inside instead of standing outside in the sun. Then they took us all through a back door and right onto the ride with scarcely any walking at all. We just looked at each other in amazement.