Impressive Miracles

posted Oct 26, 2018, 11:45 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!

I’ve been enjoying our study of The Heidelberg Catechism (HC) during our Adult Education time on Thursday evenings. Many of us are viewing the HC in a different way; indeed, some of us are even viewing our faith differently because of the comforting words of this great statement of faith. 

Last night we discussed the work of the Holy Spirit who gathers, preserves, and protects the universal community of faith. We specifically looked at the Holy Spirit’s relationship to our two sacraments — baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We began by asking, “What does participating in the Lord’s Supper mean to you personally? How do you experience the grace of God in this sacrament?” The answers varied but one thing was clear: we all knew that at God’s table we received extraordinary grace by the power of the Holy Spirit. And we affirmed that God’s table was one of welcome for all, and “we need to be ready to welcome anyone who desires to receive the transforming grace of God found in the Holy Supper” (Barnes, 105). What joy it is to know that we participate with the Holy Spirit in whomever she calls into communion with God!

But what was most profound about our study last night — at least for me — was the following statement from M. Craig Barnes, Protestants have long asserted that the elements of bread and wine do not change at the table. Right. But we have not with equal vigor claimed that the people who receive communion do change, which is a far more impressive miracle. And how we are changed is that we are set free to live an abundant life. But more importantly, God continually looks at us through the eyes of always-available forgiveness. 

This is how God sees us. 

This is how we ought to see ourselves. 

Because of grace, we are impressive miracles. 

I pray and hope that we see ourselves, and all people, as an “impressive miracle,” living into the freedom of grace and reveling in the joy of God’s boundless love. I look forward to being with you in worship in God’s house!

In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor, and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish