By Courtney Lott –
Do you hear the song of grace in your life? For the Rev. B.J. Funk, Associate Pastor at Central United Methodist Church in Fitzgerald, Georgia, its sweet melody has played throughout her entire life, calling to her like a well-intentioned siren until finally drawing her into the loving arms of God. This tune is so familiar to her that she hardly realized others did not recognize it as well until a friend asked her to write a book on the assurance of God’s love.
Saddened that others live in this precarious position, B.J. set out to help others better hear the song of grace, better see the dance of love. This book, It’s a Good Day for Grace, is dedicated to her mother, a woman who exuded a grace so compelling, she says, that those around her could not miss it.
As a devotional writer – she has been a beloved columnist for Good News since 2009 – her “prayer is that you will come to understand the unimaginable, and individual love” God has for each of us. “I want you to sense the spotlight of God’s love and grace as he shines into the hidden areas of your life,” Funk writes in the introduction. “In those places, he will dig out the debris and hurts you have known and show you that you are his beloved, created in his own image. He has all the time in the world for you.”
These short devotionals – most barely a page long – are rich with words of encouragement and assurance, a balm for the soul. The theme of grace personified as a gentle teacher continues throughout. Like a kind mother, grace holds our hands, guides us through difficult times, redirects us to our loving Heavenly Father.
Broken up thematically by month, Funk draws our attention to different aspects of grace. At the end of each individual devotion, she also utilizes a kind of liturgical repetition to tune us to grace’s ever-present rhythm.
As a writer, her use of strict meaning and creative metaphor is gracious in and of itself, forming a beautiful picture of deep theological concepts accessible for a variety of readers. Wise as ever, she defines her terms, never making assumptions about her audience. “Grace,” she writes, “is the undeserved, unmerited, unconditional love of God.” Yet even in these places, she does not abandon helpful metaphor. “[Grace] reaches through our desperate attempts at happiness and lays a bouquet of hope at our feet.”
Equally wise are her calls to action throughout the book. As she draws to a close on December 31, B.J. writes,” Decide that in this upcoming New Year, you will seek to notice [God] more, to bring him into your plans. He has always brought you into his.”
It’s a Good Day for Grace is a respite in our current times. It provides a place to rest, to marinate in the beauty of this truth. We encourage you to take a moment with this book. Within its pages, you will find encouragement for your souls, and maybe even a little assurance.