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Amazing Grace

March 23, 2020

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” Ephesians 2:8-10

There are plenty of perfectly good names for congregations, but I confess I am partial to the name of the congregation I am called to serve, if only because it reminds me of the primary way in which God has chosen to relate to me (and you, and the whole world). Grace really does sum it up, and Grace (with a big “G”) is an amazing community only because it is centered in the small “g” grace of God, freely poured out through God’s mercy at work in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Grace Church is continuing to find ways to share in and show forth God’s amazing grace during these challenging days. Worship remains central. We now have a few livestream worship services under our belt and, while it’s not the same, it is meeting a deep need. It is good to know that you’re all out there watching and worshipping with us. One constant theme in the notes of gratitude I’ve received is how thankful you are for music. People are grateful that we’re still making music together in praise of God.

We are people of the Word, but our own words only take us so far. The song of the Church lifts us higher, opens up our hearts to hear the gospel in different ways. Yesterday, my voice caught as we started the third stanza of “Amazing Grace”:

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;”

If that doesn’t speak to our current situation, I don’t know what does. But then:

“‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.”

Amen and amen. John Newton’s words, hundreds of years old, emerged from our mouths yesterday and preached the gospel to us. There are always dangers, toils, and snares. But there is always the grace of God. Always.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. That was true yesterday and it will be true tomorrow. It is true today, and it is true for you.

I am grateful to be in ministry with Pastor Michael Costello, a pastor-organist-theologian-musician nonpareil, who does so much to help us sing the gospel to and for one another. And I thankful for all the people who makes Grace so amazing and so grounded in grace.

Keep singing, friends. And remember, God’s grace is present for you. Even now. Especially now.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of grace, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, into this world. Through his living and loving, we have learned how to love. In his dying and rising, your grace has claimed us. Give us faith that clings to your grace. Center our lives in your grace. Let us show grace through good works to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

From → COVID-19

3 Comments
  1. nanalois62 permalink

    Thank you for these messages. They mean so much to me, and bring me closer from central Illinois to my Beck family in River Forest.

    God bless you and all of us richly

    Lois Weissberg

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  2. Verna Offermann permalink

    Once again, thank you 🙏🏼. These times are challenging for us all but by the grace, Grace of God, we will get through. Thank you for your encouraging words. And thank you Michael also.

    Be strong, be safe, Verna

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. judie5251 permalink

    Dear Dave I really appreciate the time and love you are putting into our services and daily notes. It’s interesting that you picked the 3 rd stanza of amazing Grace. I too picked that verse to share with those I called and got voice mail. A God sighting!! Judie McD

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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