Pastor’s Pen – February 2016

Written by Pastor's Pen - January 27, 2016 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

During worship on the first Sunday of the year we heard this verse from the Gospel of John: “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” In the words of the well-known song we sing, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!” And as Lutherans we declare with the Apostle Paul that we are justified by grace.

In the Christian church grace is something that we talk about a lot. We speak of a God of grace. We say that we are saved by grace. We sometimes tell our friends that “it was only by the grace of God” that some fortunate event happened to us. Grace is a rich and beautiful word. It’s central to our understanding of who God is and of how God lovingly relates to us.

During the season of Lent we will have the opportunity to spend some time exploring this fundamental concept of the Christian faith. Using a book by the popular writer, Max Lucado, I’ll be sharing some reflections on grace during each of our mid-week Lenten worship services. The book is called “Grace – More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine.” For those who would like to be reading along, copies are available in the narthex on Sunday mornings or from the church office during the week.

Lucado describes grace as a powerful gift of God that transforms us from the inside out: “God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A white-water, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you. It rewires you. Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off! When grace happens, we receive not a nice complement from God but a new heart. You might call it a spiritual heart transplant.”

In reading Lucado’s book we will encounter people who have experienced that kind of spiritual heart transplant. Some of them come from the pages of the Bible and some from everyday life. And as we learn about the difference that grace has made in their lives we’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the difference that grace can make, and no doubt has made, in our own lives.

During Lent I will be leading a discussion of Lucado’s book in the Sunday morning adult forum. Information about additional small group discussion opportunities will be available in the Sunday morning bulletins. Being part of a discussion group can help deepen the value of this Lenten experience.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 10, I invite you to worship with us each Wednesday evening at 7:00. As we take our Lenten journey together, I pray that each of us will be touched by God’s amazing, transformative, life-changing grace.

God’s grace be with you.

Pastor Selbo

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