Open the ‘Gates’ to Grace this New Year

“Open the ‘Gates’ to Grace this New Year”

Have you made a New Year resolution?  What are you planning to do differently this year? At this time of year many people attempt to start their new year by making a resolution to give up something, or to make a change. Sadly by mid February many people have given up and the New Year’s resolution are a thing of the past.

According to American Business news channel CNBC, Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Whilst Bill enjoys taking stock of the past year, assessing what he’s excited about and what he could have done better. Melinda on the other hand likes to choose a word that “encapsulates her aspirations for the year ahead.” Past words have included “gentle,” helping her fight perfectionism, and “spacious,” prompting her to make room for the things in life that truly matter.

In 2018, and again this year,  her chosen word is  ‘grace’ a word that alludes to a transcendent or beautiful moment that shows we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Speaking about ‘grace’ Melinda commented “It’s a word that has served me well. I’ve called on it during difficult conversations, long days at the office, busy trips with our foundation—and especially during a jam-packed. It even helped me find a beam of peace through the sadness of a friend’s funeral. When I was upset or distressed, I whispered it to myself: ‘Grace.’

 

Grace is a constant theme in the Bible, and one that culminates in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus. So how does God show grace to us?  God shows grace to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  When He was on the cross, Jesus took all the punishment that we deserved and placed it on Himself. On the cross, Jesus gave us the gift of a relationship with God, something that we cannot earn by ourselves nor do we deserve.

In his book, One-Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World, Tullian Tchividjian comments

“Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you”.

 

This is grace in a nutshell and is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. We have an opportunity here at Christ Church to explore God’s gift of grace for ourselves, starting on Thursday 10th January 7;30pm in the Ministry Centre, we are hosting a seven week course called ‘Life explored’. Why not come along or bring a friend to find out more about the many promises and gifts God wants to give .I’m off now to choose a word that encapsulates my hopes for 2019, perhaps you will join me as we open the door to God’s grace this year.