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Gifts Of Grace

At Grace today, a couple of things happened during the 9:00 a.m. service which were special. 

The first was the adoption of a new member into the Church of God as a grown man through Baptism.  From my vantage point in the choir loft, it excites me to see a baptismal candidate actually stand and lean out over the fount.  It is truly special when a conscious adult commits their life to Christ, and is washed free from sin through the water of Baptism and made a new creation in Christ by the Holy Spirit.  Often, we welcome new infants and young people, but receiving an adult soul into the household of God, for me, is truly inspiring.  Perhaps even more so when we pray for the newly baptized, because our young people serving at the High Altar typically lead us in those prayers.  I appreciate the youth of Grace being ready, willing and able to serve and assist in leading our worship.  I have always challenged people to view our young people, not as the future of the Church, but rather consider them an active part of our Church already.  For we all are children of God, and that is always something to celebrate.  Today, it was just a little different and even more special.

D, we receive you into the household of God.  Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and join with us in his eternal priesthood.  Amen.

Later, our young Assistant Rector began the announcements by giving a shout-out for the Breakfast Bible Study which Heart Of My Heart and I host on a monthly basis.  He had either received or solicited some kind feedback about our meager enterprise, or was himself just being kind, by promoting it.  One parishioner said to me after the service we'd need to have more food to accommodate all those who are sure to come.  That is a provision we would gladly make to have to more venture out at first light of a Saturday morning to join us for food, fellowship, and some prayerful reflection on The Word.  I was thrilled by the shout-out, and very hopeful that more might come.      

To any and all who seek, come, eat and be filled.

These are but a few reminders of how we work to build up The Kingdom of God: welcoming & receiving, feeding & fellowship, study & prayer, to nurture ourselves and strengthen one another to do the work of the Lord, in the here and the now.  To all that, I say "Amen".