And just like that the Christmas decorations have come down. I love Christmas season and I am always a little bit sad about it being over. Does the joy have to end just because the decorations have come down? What do we have left to remember the about Christmas season as it ends? The gifts!
This past Tuesday was the first day back at school for my boys after Christmas break. My oldest son was excited to return to school with his new Pokeball Plus and Harry Potter t-shirt. My youngest son was excited to tell all his friends about his new Kids Kindle Fire tablet and to wear his new Star Wars t-shirt. That is what happens when you receive a gift that you treasure, you want others to know about it and see it. Every Christmas we celebrate receiving one of the greatest gifts God has ever given to us. The gift of a redeemed relationship through Jesus Christ.
Through the gift of Jesus Christ we are reminded that God is a gracious God whose grace is present and available to all people. In the United Methodist Church we recognize God’s grace in three forms: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace. Prevenient grace is God’s grace at work in our lives, before we are even aware of God’s presence. Justifying grace is God’s grace at the point of reconciliation, pardon, and restoration. Sanctifying grace is God’s grace that grows and matures us as we move towards perfection, the life that mirrors the one that Christ lived.
Beginning this Sunday, January 13th, we will begin a new series by Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church called Greater Gifts. Through this series we will focus upon lifting up the gifts God has given to us all and how we can strategically act together as one body with many interconnected parts for the transformation of the world. God has given us truly wonderful gifts and it is my hope that we will be as excited about these Greater Gifts as my boys were when they returned to school with their Christmas gifts. We are a blessed people and we need to return that blessing into the world. Join us this Sunday for Sunday School at 9:30 AM in room 210 or for worship at 10:30 AM as we discuss these Greater Gifts.
In God’s Grip,
Pastor Chuck Church