Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Church: On Embodying Grace

I have recently often been asked the question, "How have things been with your church?" or "How is it connecting in a new place you've never lived?"

Since day 1, my answer has remained, "My church, Grace Church, has been embodying its name. They have been the hands and feet of Christ, and I pray that I can be serving them as they are serving me in this season."

This is quite an odd and unusual time of life. I am working towards goals, rather than "settling in", and yet most of those goals include being present in relationships where I am at too. I am currently living with a family from my church, whom I will be with until April. Then I will live with another family from church until June, move again, and then switch yet another time in July, and probably move one or two more times before heading to Czech.

This is a sweet time of getting to know families from church in a very personal and close way, and they have so generously opened their homes to me as I raise support to go serve the Lord back in Czech and Central and Eastern Europe.

Beyond that though, it hasn't only been through the "host families" that the church has shown hospitality and grace. Others have bent over backwards to make me feel at home here in this body of believers.

Exhibit A: this key.

A friend from my small group has three roommates (also members at Grace), and she handed me a key to her home yesterday, saying, "just come on in whenever!" I held it up mid-air, dumbfounded, not sure how to respond besides with a beaming "Thank you!" I still don't feel comfortable just walking into someone's home unannounced, so I texted my friend today before stopping by this afternoon to get some work done in their sunny little living room.

This key is grace, which I struggle to receive, for I have not earned any of this love (which is the whole essence of the word anyways, right?).

The hospitality my church family is showing me is grace, which I can only respond to in thanks and offering of my own resources (namely - time, love, and service right now!).

The meals that we share as small groups at church are grace, which I am learning to depend on as we all receive nourishment from the Word of God each week together.

This season of life is unique. It comes with its own challenges. One day looks nothing like the next. As I said, I work towards goals these days, not towards checking off lists and rubrics. Things are not the way I have been used to for the past four years of my life (Czech schools didn't use rubrics much) in those respects. I'm learning to adjust, and to delight in these graces that the Lord has given.

I may not have a place to "settle" for the next 9-12 months of preparing to go with Josiah Venture. I may be working multiple part-time jobs to essentially pay for gas, insurance, and food. I may have many meetings with incredible people who want to be part of God's work.

But above all, in these times of transition, I may see the grace of our Father embodied in his people like never before. I don't want to miss that amidst the many life changes. 

1 comment:

  1. Claire!!! This is so sweet! How I praise the Lord for Grace church, who is truly exhibiting that beautiful quality of grace.


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