Words from our Pastor

December 2017

It’s Advent! Truly one of the best times of the year!

As you may know, our Advent Devotional Book this year is entitled “Expressions of Grace.” And I have to ask you, is there a better word in the English language than grace? I know we use it in several different ways, but it always seems to connote something positive. When we gather around the table for a meal at our house, we “say grace.” We offer people grace periods to get something finished. We talk about how someone moves with grace. We thank God for his grace in our lives, and express our gratitude for what he has done.

Mark Young, the President of Denver Seminary writes, “in the Bible, grace is used to describe God’s undeserved favor or kindness towards us. Grace seems to flow through the stories in the Bible as we see evidence of it in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, God’s grace comes in the form of an ark built to save the human race from its own wickedness, a scarlet cord hanging from a prostitute’s window or even a ram found in the thicket to act as a substitute sacrifice for a man’s only son. It is everywhere.” He is right. Grace is found in so many places and stories.

But John 1:14-18 reminds us that no matter how often we see God’s grace in the Old Testament, we never fully saw it until God sent his one and only Son, Jesus. John describes Jesus as “full of grace and truth.” John also goes on to say in verse 16 that in Jesus we have received “grace upon grace.” In Ephesians, the Apostle Paul can hardly contain himself as he describes the “riches of God’s grace that he has lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1: 7-8).

Our celebrations this Christmas morning may be extravagant or scant when we judge it by the world’s standards. But no matter how many packages may be under the Christmas Tree, or how much food is laid on our tables, one thing is sure: the riches of God’s grace have been lavished upon us in Christ. Let us celebrate that today and every day!

Merry Christmas!!

- Pastor John