Les Miserables

As the priest hands over his valuable candlesticks it is clear that his grace is greater than we had imagined.

Psalm 136:1-26

Reference: To him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:4 TNIV)

Explore: The musical, Les Miserables, has just been released as a movie. The music is powerful, the acting exquisite, but it is the storyline that moves me every time.

A man, who was imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family, is released after 19 years in jail. He is rejected in every place he seeks refuge until he finds a priest who invites him to eat with him and sleep in the church.

In the man’s desperate position, he steals all the finest silver from the priest. He is caught and brought back and made to admit his sin in front of this godly man.

The police are ready to throw him back into jail when the priest stops them. He explains that he did give all of the silver to the man and, in fact, the man forgot to take the most precious silver.

As the priest hands over his valuable candlesticks it is clear that his grace is greater than we had imagined. Having experienced such forgiveness the man goes on into the rest of the story to try to replicate this grace that was offered to him.

Application: When the disciple Peter asks Jesus how many times we should forgive others He says, ‘Seventy times seven.’ This was not a numerical figure that Jesus was instructing, but a way of saying that, just as God continually forgives us, so should we forgive others.

The challenge comes when someone wrongs us. It’s then that we feel justified in being angry or vindictive.

However, in Psalm 136, the writer reminds us again and again that God’s love endures forever. In fact, the writer mentions this in every single verse.

And so, just as God extends His love to us over and over again, so we should do the same for others. It’s tricky and that’s why we constantly need reminding.

I’m not sure I have the capacity to offer grace like the priest in Les Mis, but the more I read the Bible, the more I am reminded that God showed us that love first.

Prayer: Lord, may I learn to love as You love me, and to continue to put aside my own selfish ambition. Amen.

Who do you struggle to love?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.


Adrian ChivellFebruary 11, 2013 at 6:45 AMReply

Wow, what an amazing story. I will have to hire it when it comes out on DVD.

JerryFebruary 13, 2013 at 10:25 PMReply

Thanks for this message. Les Mis is one my favorites ( we have 3 different versions in our home). And grace must be the favorite gift I have received. As i start this Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent around the world from you in the US, i am reminded of that grace and the wonder of it. How great the Father’s love for us!