Read Romans 11:25–36 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; 27 and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins." 28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?35 Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. The deliverer will come. Romans 11:26 Mary Anne Evans, known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist and leading writer of the Victorian era. She is well known for the quote “A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” What a treasure it is to have friends who accept us unconditionally, keep the good, and “blow the rest away.” We have faults. We have bad days. We sin. But friends hang in there and love us through the tough stuff. God, through his mercy and gift of his Son Jesus Christ, loves us through the tough stuff too. He takes our sin and casts it as far as the east is from the west. He blows our sins away. What a friend we have in our God. Even on our best days, we know that “we are unworthy servants,” as Jesus taught (Luke 17:7-10). Nevertheless, we will also remember that Jesus said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Now that is grace! Prayer “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1). Amen.