What happens when grace is no longer a gift from the old man in the sky, since there is no one to extend that gift? When we move away from the thousand-year-old image of God to a modern concept of the humanity of all people, what does grace look like? Can it still be thought of as a gift, and if so, from whom? Perhaps all that is left of grace is the good things, the good luck, that happens to people. I live in a loving family with all my material needs met on a more than regular basis. I am very lucky. I have had the opportunity to help improve on my luck, with a good education, by living in the best places and knowing a group of people who help improve my life greatly.
Grace has been dissected and analyzed by many over time, usually with a view of being a vertical gift from someone or thing above us to people below. The vertical character of grace now needs to be replaced by a horizontal view in which people provide and receive grace to and from one another. When we have removed the vertical element we will be left with a better world for all. And when you really think about it, that’s what we have anyway. As a 21st century Micah might have said in 6:8; And what does the Earth require of you? To seek justice, to show mercy and to walk humbly with our fellow inhabitants. (from Marlene Zimmerman)