The Phil Files

Musings & messages on everyday worship, Jesus, and the stuff of life.

Grace Makes Beauty out of Ugly Things

with 3 comments

There are moments of transcendence, where everyday things and old familiar stories intersect and God comes and inhabits ordinary human flesh, mortal tissue, and brings us grace.

The birth story of Jesus is set in a broken world with flawed people with horrific backstories — that’s what Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1 tells us. And to connect with this broken world, God does the unthinkable: he enters our world in the womb of an unmarried woman and her husband to be who has to believe the impossible. “He will be called Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” — by entering the world in a woman whom everyone would think was the latest, biggest, sinner in her little town. But Joseph, with the help of an angel he was not expecting to meet, believed the impossible and did the unthinkable for a devoted and righteous God-follower in his time: he married the woman that evidence suggested had been unfaithful to him and carried the child of another. Yet Joseph believed the angel and believed that Mary carried not the child of another, but of Another conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit.

As Fredrick Dale Bruner says, Joseph is Grace — and he adapts the U2 Bono song Grace to fit Joseph:

Grace, he takes the blame, he covers the shame, he removes the stain, it could be his name.

I personally like even better, the closing words to the song:

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

God’s ways are not our ways. God’s ways are not the religious way. So God chooses to enter our scandalous world in a scandalous way just like he will die a scandalous death so that grace would be accessible to us … all of us … each of us … and then he says that if we are really His followers, like Joseph, then we will wear the name of Grace and work to make beauty out of ugly things.


And here are Bono’s words to the song:

She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

It’s a name for a girl
It’s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she’s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She’s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things


Written by phil

December 18th, 2012 at 9:41 am

Posted in CrossClix

3 Responses to 'Grace Makes Beauty out of Ugly Things'

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  1. Awesome!!! Powerful message!!! Tune very ‘catchy’ Is it possible to receive a copy of it, with chords for possible use in our Fellowship???


    18 Dec 12 at 11:41 am

  2. Awesome!!! Powerful Message!!! Very ‘catchy tune’. Is it possible to have a copy, with the chords, for possible use in our Fellowship?

    p.s. I have trouble with these ‘Security Codes’ I have glaucoma and cataracts…. It is difficult to read colour upon colour.


    18 Dec 12 at 11:44 am

  3. I am so glad I read this. It helped me to remember the absolutely amazing grace that our father has for each of us. He is true love. Thank you for the well written article and for sharing the song which I had never heard before. Love BBK


    4 Jan 13 at 8:48 pm

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