Extra Grace Required

October 16, 2020 by Gregg DeMey

We all need a little more grace these days. To give it. To receive it.

These last months of journeying through the “Corona Wilderness” have left virtually all of us more irritable and annoyable than ever before — and, to be brutally honest — most of us have become more irritating and annoying than ever before, too. Pastors included.

God’s prescription for our current sad state of human affairs is a wonderdrug, a cure-all that always leaves those who experience it feeling much, much better: Grace.

By “Grace,” I don’t mean the name (although it’s beautiful) or the kind of elegance that allows the physically gifted to move or dance with ease. The kind of Grace that God prescribes is the gift of love, kindness, mercy, patience and favor. Grace is inclined toward the benefit or service of another. Grace seeks to bless the other and is relatively unconcerned with what it might get in return.

When it comes to next month’s presidential election, we Americans all need a little more grace.
To give it. To receive it.

When it comes to worshipping indoors back at Elmhurst CRC, we all need a little more grace.
To give it. To receive it.

October 18 will be the 32nd Sunday since we’ve had a large group worshipping together inside our church’s sanctuary. My goal as a leader is to bring as many of us back as possible over the long haul — and — to bring us along together. That’s why we’ve spent some many weeks worshipping outdoors while the weather has been cooperative!

I view this Sunday NOT as the way things will be until life returns to “normal,” but as a modest first step that allows us to build some good momentum toward the goal of successfully being together indoors in a large group. Like a kid with their first bike, we’ll start slowly, with the training wheels on.

It’s essential that we give and receive grace from one another as we relearn how to do this. It will be different than before. For those of us who gather in person, it’s crucial that we remember that our friends on the other side of the camera lens will outnumber us 9-to-1 for this Sunday. It would be graceful of us to serve and connect with them in every way possible. For those of us who will view this worship service on Livestream, it would be graceful to participate as wholeheartedly as those who appear on your screen. It would be graceful for all of us to inquire about one another’s respective experience inside the sanctuary or at home. We all need a little more grace. To give it. To receive it.

I have high hope that we can give and receive heightened levels of grace because of the Graceful Spirit who fills the church. That Spirit reintroduces me to Jesus when I am at my worst.

I feel that Spirit gently stretching me to grow in patience, forbearance, and concern for those with whom I disagree. I pray that same Spirit will rest on you as we make a new beginning in worship this Sunday.

— Pastor Gregg

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