Grace — not just a prayer said before meals, or many people’s name — is at the top of Christianity’s most important aspects. It is the faith’s one characteristic that separates it from all other world religions.

What is it exactly? Grace is the love of God shown to those who seem to deserve it the least.

Grace is God’s peace and calmness given to those on edge.

Grace is God’s undeserved kindness and generosity.

You know there is a hymn titled “Amazing Grace.” Why do we call grace amazing? It is amazing because it goes against common sense. Common sense — which really isn’t common anymore — says you are too messed up for God to have anything to do with you. Grace, however, says God loves you in spite of the ways you may have gone against him.

Society may say you are weak, a failure or worthless. But grace empowers you to be the person God intended you to be.

Every person is created in God’s image, and he wants what is best for each one. He demonstrated his loving desire for all by coming to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus laid down his life so individuals, and humanity as a whole, could experience God’s forgiveness and grace.

When you look at what is happening in our society and around the world, you recognize that quite a few have rejected the gift of God’s grace. Instead, they take what they perceive to be justice into their own hands. They become judge, jury and executioner by their own volition.

That is revenge, not justice. That is spitefulness, not grace.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if God treated us in the same way people treat each other? There would be very few, if any, people on Earth.

Yet, grace — the power to forgive, the ability to agree to disagree, removal of the need to seek revenge, ability to right wrongs without violence, ability to know you are loved even when you (or others) don’t seem to deserve it — is what is called for.

Because God gives us the gift of grace, can we not share that gift with each other?