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More Common Ground: Grace as Ground of All

December 28, 2010

It is commonly said that love is the core uniting principle that all religions share. I’m not going to dispute that, but add to it what may be even more foundational: the concept of grace.

Grace means the idea of unmerited good will, pehaps mercy, perhaps forgiveness; or a multitude of positive things. Experessed on a human level, psychologist Carl Rogers approached it via his “unconditional positive regard” (toward a client, or anyone).

One of the 20th Century’s most brilliant, innovative theologians, Karl Barth, continually emphasized grace, particularly as embodied in Christ, in his view. But Barth also recognized grace in broader ways, and that expressed, in one example, through a religiously cynical man, Mozart. Barth “religiously” listened to Mozart’s music to start his day. His insight was that “Mozart heard something ultimately gracious at the core of the universe and sought to express it.”

I happen to resonate with that on more than one level: I love Mozart and I do believe we each, in individualized ways, access and express a small part of the undergirding beauty and grace existing everywhere, and by adding our personal touch, we expand it.

On this I think almost all Christians and others can agree. And we should note and celebrate it often!

How about you? Do you see this? How do you particularly pick up and celebrate the grace surrounding and within us all?

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