Much can be said about the difference between grace and mercy. It's already been done though. Suffice it to say, grace is favor given without a necessary reason.
These guys could have played a very short set. They would have been well within their rights to do so. They didn't. I don't know if they were just practicing and hoping some more people would come up, check them out and stay, or what... In any case, they played a decent set, had some fun with it, and sounded great. I don't know if meant anything to anyone else in the room or not, but it meant a lot to me.
Grace arrives in unexpected ways daily for me. Sometimes those ways are small. Sometimes they are massive. This one was- amorphous? Hard to measure for sure.
The crazy thing about grace is that I need it. Maybe some people don't need it.
I don't think I have met those people though. Since I need it, I try to extend grace to others. It's hard for me to do so. Some people I have met aren't willing to extend grace unless someone extends it to them first. It is a hard line approach to life, friends, and how to interact with people socially.
It is definitely easier to act this way when I am having a difficult day.
However, when I have the time and luxury to reflect, as when I was listening to this set the other night, I realize I am constantly the recipient of grace. Ephesians 2:5 says, "You are saved by grace" (HCSB). Most Christians know, or have at least heard, Ephesians 2:8-9, "For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast." It wasn't until reading through Ephesians again this morning that I really noticed the simple phrase from verse 5.
I think the reason most Christians focus on verses 8 and 9 is that they are trying to come to some understanding of the theological underpinnings of faith. I think they might be overthinking it. I do occasionally, and when I do I miss the simplicity of grace.
I have been saved by grace and I needed it. I am being saved by grace and I need it. If I can't extend that grace to others in big and small ways I miss an opportunity to experience grace. I miss out on what it means to live.
The question becomes, "How can I extend grace today?"
You are saved by grace. What are you going to do with it?