We watch the heroics of the reticent Moses as he is called and sent, speaks truth to power and leads his people to safety. His faith leads him forward and God gives him wisdom and guidance, even with the pillar of smoke and flame to show the way. In this story, we see a God who loves and cares for the people who are being trod upon, leading them through the impossible to a better life. We also see the God who washes away the oppressor, those who uphold the law of the powerful.
In order to overcome our shortcomings, we must love. In order to attract a new generation of Jesus disciples to transform the world, we must love. In order to bring the church’s message of grace to a hurting people, we must love. In order to overcome the hatred that has become so divisive in our land, we must love. In order to bring light into the darkness of our times, we must love.
So I want to ask another pointed question: If you are holding anger or hate, what is the pain that is hidden underneath? What pain is keeping you from being loving toward your neighbor or toward someone who disagrees with you?
We are canceling live worship gatherings until the end of March. Blessings on you all. Know that you are all in my prayers. We will weather this storm with wisdom and faith. Peace. Be still. Stay home. Wash your hands. With Love, Pastor Rae
Today we talk about Sanctifying Grace, this is the grace that forms us, teaches us, and shapes us over our lifetimes and helps us heal from the brokenness that we’ve experienced simply by living in a painful world.
Today we are talking about the second part of Grace, as Methodism’s founder, John Wesley, taught. Justifying Grace is the experience of being forgiven and adopted into God’s family.
Prevenient Grace definition: "It is divine grace that precedes human decision." God starts showing love to us before we are ever aware of our connection to God. We could also call it "preceding grace" because it precedes anything we have ever done to "earn" grace, salvation, or liberation.
Just like God’s hug for us through one of our community angels, God’s love for us in these rituals offers us an opportunity to experience God through all of our senses. We see God in the elements, we hear God in the words of institution and the sounds of pouring water and tearing bread, we taste and smell God in the taking of communion and feel God’s kiss upon our skin in the waters of baptism.
We are to, everyday, every moment if we can, show to the world a new way of being. One where love is more powerful than drones or protocols. Where compassion holds more sway than polls or pontificating. Where a hug holds more hope than a catchy campaign slogan. And where the grace of the Holy One is more compelling than the propaganda of the Empire.
The melodies and poetry of the Christmas season have been whispering to us of hope, of beauty, and of light. Tonight, after 24 days of anticipation and waiting, we light the Christ candle and celebrate the light coming back into the world.