Les Miserables – Unmerited Divine Assistance

A couple of weeks ago, Leanne and I went to see the latest edition of Les Miserables at our local movie theater.  We’ve seen the story before – once on Broadway, once at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, and several times in various cinematic productions.  We thoroughly enjoyed this version of the movie.  And while some may say that seeing this movie was like turning in my man card, I would disagree.  And I would recommend anyone see it for themselves.

Sure I liked the movie and what they did with the story.  I think the actors did a great job – especially Anne Hathaway in the role of Fantine and Hugh Jackman in the role of Jean Valjean.  The music was great.  And the sets and overall cinematography helped bring the story to a whole new level.

What I liked most though about Les Miserables was the reminder of grace.  The theme of grace is threaded throughout the entire story.  Les Miserables reminded me that grace is undeserved, surprising, freeing, contagious, and sometimes a little confusing.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, grace is defined as:

unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification, a virtue coming from God, a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

In Christian circles, grace is talked about from time to time, but I think it’s easy to forget how amazing grace really is.

We don’t deserve grace.  In Romans 3:23, Paul reminds us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Our sin separates us from God.  It condemns us to death.  In Romans 6:23, Paul starts by saying “For the wages of sin is death.”  If we stopped there, the story would be pretty grim.

The beauty is that our story doesn’t have to end there.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul lays out a pretty clear argument to those who want to escape this death.  Simply stated, there is hope and eternal life with Christ found for those who make Jesus Christ the leader and forgiver of their lives.  At the end of Romans 6:23, it says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  A gift.  That’s what grace is about.  Unmerited divine assistance.

And this is why I liked Les Miserables.  The movie reminded me that like Jean Valjean, I have received an undeserved gift.  I have been granted grace.  We all need that gift and the reminder of grace, so we live in light of that grace each day of our lives.

When was the last time you were given something you didn’t deserve?  What is/was your response to an undeserved gift?  How does grace impact your daily life?  Do you know the grace I’m talking about?