Grace and Faith: A Parable of Two Sisters

A Poetic Reflection on the Protestant Reformation

Two spinster sisters lived alone
when times were lean and tough.
Grace was kind and Faith believed
somehow they’d have enough.

Grace gave to others without thought.
Her nature was this pure.
While Faith, the younger, struggled some.
Her hopes weren’t always sure.

Without her sister’s knowledge, Grace
would work behind the scenes.
She scrimped and saved (when Faith would sleep)
to bring about the means
to shed the rags of “getting by”
and dress like royalty.
Grace loved her sister and could see
one day she would be free.

One day she’d flee from poverty.
One day Faith would take hold
of all she hoped and dreamed about:
A mansion gilded gold.

One day arrived. Grace died and left
her twin what she’d saved.
‘Twas in the bank and was not based
on how Faith had behaved.

Yes, (Grace, through death) expressed her care
for one she loved so much.
The proof was Faith’s inheritance.
An unexpected crutch.

But what Grace had made possible
could not be earned through doing.
All had been done that one could do.
No need for stress or stewing.

The gift of Grace was in the bank
all ready to be claimed.
No strings attached or fine-print clause.
It bore her sister’s name.

The only thing the bank required
was that Faith show her face
and then endorse the waiting check
made possible by Grace.

For no one else could claim this prize
as Grace had clearly shown.
For only one could make withdraws.
Just Faith and Faith alone.

And Grace has done the same for us.
A life savings in our name.
And though we don’t deserve what’s ours,
it’s ours alone to claim.

No need to prove we’ve earned it, though.
That’s one thing Grace insists.
Eternal life comes through Christ’s death
not our demanding fists.

It’s humbling, to say the least,
to take what someone’s given.
But that’s God’s plan.
Our pride must die for us to be forgiven.

And when (with faith) at Heaven’s bank
we claim what’s guaranteed,
guess what’s compounded? Gratitude!
A thankful heart, indeed!

Yes, thankfulness is interest earned
on funds that grow and grow.
But there is also something else
I think that you should know.

St. Paul says in our text today,
we’re not saved by doing good.
But here’s the catch… Once we are saved,
we can do the good we should.

We’re saved in order to achieve
what we alone can’t do.
By grace (through faith) we activate
God’s plans for me and you.