This will be that back page of the 12 November 2017 (23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year A) for Fishkill United Methodist Church. Services begin at 10 am and you are always welcome.
On these pages and on my blog (see “The Changing of the Seasons”), I have written about that day when I truly came to understand what it means to receive God’s grace. It is a day that, perhaps more than any other day, transformed my life.
For John Wesley, grace in all its forms was and is a gift from God and a sign of His active presence in our lives. There is nothing we can do to earn this grace because it is freely given by God to us. What we can do is seek a better understanding of what grace is, what grace does, and what we can do as a result.
The concept of grace in Methodism is defined by three words: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying. Prevenient grace is the grace that allows us to seek and find God, know the difference between good and evil and to seek good. Justifying grace is the grace that restores our relationship with God. Through Christ, our sins are forgiven and our relationship with God restored.
Sanctifying grace is not a one-time event in our lives. It is what helps us grow and mature, to live as Jesus lived. It allows us to seek perfection in our love of God and for others and removing our desire to sin.
Because of what God has done for us, we offer our lives back to God through a life of service. We are active in the world through mission and service because our Love of God is tied to our love of our neighbor and our commitment to seek justice and renewal in this world. ~~Tony Mitchell
Notes on grace from “Our Wesleyan Heritage”