Another story must begin...
So sings Jean Valjean at the point of his conversion in the musical version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. It's a line that still gives me goosebumps when I hear it.
Jesus said, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. And for Valjean it is the grace of the bishop that has brought him to this point.
In a conversation about grace with a friend recently, I said that grace is receiving everything when you deserve nothing. To the arresting officers, the bishop declares not only were the stolen candlesticks found in Valjean's possession his gift but that there was much more besides that he had left behind. Privately, he urges him to use these gifts to become 'an honest man'. Overwhelmed, Valjean discovers an unaccustomed spirit moving on his life and a new story begins.
A few years ago, I created a presentation entitled The Gospel According to Les Miserables. I produced a DVD and sent copies out as a Christmas gift. Later, I posted some of it online in an audio format. Here's the story of grace abounding to this sinner.
(At the end of this episode, the link will offer the following two episodes should you wish to listen to them.)