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Grace looks like chocolate cake. Sometimes.   

If you have never sampled a Portillo’s chocolate cake, never twiddled your fork in its fudgy excess, your culinary character is in question. The offer of a free slice of this deadly desert was enough to lure my son, Tim, and me into surrendering our email addresses to join Portillo's birthday club. Both November babies, it was time for us to claim the prize.

Having secured a couple of tables at Portillo’s, my wife, Diana, engaged Tim’s wife and girls with a pilgrim craft. Patrons and staff alike fawned over Tim’s little blonde girls (wearing matching red plaid tops and headdresses). Then the girls joined Tim and me in line to place our food orders.

While we waited at the counter for our order, little Ava and Emma chatted up one of the servers. Abruptly, the server grinned and said, “Hey, would you girls like a piece of cake?” They giggled, and she slipped them a (free) piece of cake. With the two birthday freebies Tim and I had previously ordered, our cake count was now up to three.

We returned to our table with the girls—and their chocolate prize—only to discover that moments earlier, another worker had bought out two other pieces of cake for them. We now had five free pieces—a virtual pyramid of unearned, undeserved, seemingly unending cake.

The joyous excess struck me as a metaphor for the kindness of Jesus. John 1:16 says, “For of His fullness, we have all received, and grace upon grace.”

Ponder that phrase for just a moment—“grace upon grace.”

  • Full forgiveness.
  • Full acceptance.
  • Full freedom in Christ.
  • Full assurance of heaven.

That’s grace upon grace.

Way better than a stack of chocolate cakes, right?

It’s Thanksgiving. And life isn’t perfect. And our country isn’t perfect. And maybe you’ve got problems at church, problems in your family, problems with your health. I don't minimize any of that. But I invite you to set all that aside for just a moment. Join me in pondering—even celebrating—the grace upon grace we have in Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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