They are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24 NRSV)In October 1996 Sylvia Stayton, sixty-two year old grandmother of ten grandchildren, was arrested, handcuffed, and carted off to jail by the Cincinnati police. Her crime? Sticking coins in expired parking meters! Grandma Stayton says she only wanted to do a good deed. She just wanted to help strangers in need. The police didn't see it that way. It's illegal in Cincinnati to put coins in an expired meter--even if it's your own car.
The Cincinnati policeman who saw grandma feed the meter with mercy coins just as he was preparing to write a ticket for the expired meter wanted to follow the law. Precisely. Exactly. He was a by-the-book kind of guy. So, placing handcuffs on Granny Stayton, he made national news.
Isn't it wonderful to know that God offers lots of grace instead of lots of law enforcement!
Dear Jesus, in you I see God's offering of grace. In Jesus name, Amen.