To say that we are free, free to live by grace alone, free to
improvise, does not mean we fail to prepare or study or reflect or
struggle. It means we can never prepare enough, and sometimes life
thrusts us into situations for which we could never have prepared,
even if we knew in advance what was going to happen. They will come,
those moments, in some dark night or early morning when you are
all alone and called to respond to situations you hoped would never
come. We roam this world playing the odds, don't we? We are
ever-hoping that the plane won't drop from the sky (I am saying
that prayer now. I have to go home this afternoon.); that the truck
ahead won't jack-knife; that the tumor will be benign and the
tornado won't touch down on our street. But we know that sooner or
later the phone will ring in the wee hours and there will not be
time to think too long about faith and hope and love -- only the
time to act and cling to grace wherever it can be found -- only
time to improvise. And somewhere, in the deepest darkness, you hear
the words: "Fear not. The Spirit of God is around here somewhere."
sermon "A Moment of Grace"
by The Rev. Dr. Bill J. Leonard
the sermon in its entirety.