From God’s abundance, we have all received grace upon grace. (John 1:16)
Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift! (2 Cor. 9:15)
This past Sunday evening I received a wonderful and completely unexpected gift. It had been a long day at the end of long week of juggling church and family responsibilities on my own while Chip was out of town. I was exhausted – bone tired and drained of energy. When I returned home Sunday evening after the last Reformation study session, all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the house to be greeted not only by my kids, but by a homemade apple pie, still warm from the oven, courtesy of a church family. You don’t get much closer to heaven for me than that!
It was a moment, a gesture of grace, pure and simple. I was so overcome with gratitude for the kindness, care and spontaneity of that pie that I almost cried. And I don’t know when an apple pie has ever tasted so good!
As odd as it may sound, that pie reminded me of God’s grace, often unexpected and undeserved, always overwhelming in its warm hospitality and abundant love and care. As we learned from our Reformation celebration, there is nothing we can do to earn or deserve God’s grace. It is sheer gift. God simply offers
us this gift of grace, of God’s infinite love and forgiveness, healing and wholeness, with no strings attached. As scripture tells us, “From God’s fullness, we have all received grace upon grace” (John 1:16). To receive God’s gift of grace, to savor every bit of it, is heaven indeed!
Gratitude is the natural response to grace. Overwhelmed by God’s amazing grace, we respond with our lives, expressing our gratitude to the Source of the gift. That’s what the Christian life of faith is all about – our response to God’s grace rooted in gratitude. We can never repay God for this precious gift, but we can live
our lives in ways that honor the gift and glorify God.
This fall, our stewardship theme is Grace & Gratitude. We hope you will reflect on the gift of God’s grace in your life and the many ways you have experienced that grace through the ministry and mission of our church. Then we invite you to prayerfully discern how you will respond in gratitude and share your gifts of time, talent and treasure, so that we may continue to be a community of faith that embodies God’s grace and offers it to others in the community and world around us. Join us for worship throughout the month as we reflect on God’s grace and our grateful response and dedicate our pledges together on November 19th. May our grateful response truly reflect God’s abundant grace and generosity to us.
See you in church,