Spires January 2017
Ring in the Christ That Is to Be!
Anne Pruett-Barnett, Senior Pastor
“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.
~ Isaiah 43:18-19 The Message
As we begin 2017, we have an exciting opportunity ahead of us as a church in an urban setting! While many look at West Center City and see mainly the problems that surround this area, we need to look at the area in which our physical church sits and be alert to the brand-new thing that God is doing through us! From the Riverfront to Grace Church, from Market Street to Washington Street – to Grace Church – God is “making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands! It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”
Often we are so busy looking at the negatives that we lose sight of what it means to be a people of hope! A people who worship a God who redeems, who delivers! Isn’t that what the Christ Child was born to do – to reconcile the world? Isn’t that the gracious gift of God to us at Christmas? The question is, do we believe it? Do we believe that Jesus is truly the Savior of the world? of Wilmington? of Grace Church? of each of us? the one who comes to save us? We sing of this new thing that is being done at Christmas; but do we believe it? Do we put our hope in it? Do we believe that Jesus, the Word-made-flesh, who comes into the very neighborhoods where we live full of a grace and truth that redeems us, is doing something brand-new in us? in our city? in 2017?
I believe. Do you? I look forward with great joy to seeing how God will use our prayer, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness in the City of Wilmington in 2017! I look forward with great joy to seeing how God will lead us, our talents and abilities, our love for Jesus, our financial resources, our staff, our members, the strangers we meet, city officials, our dreams and vision, to make a difference in us and in our area of the city!
My prayer is that we will be alert, be present, to God’s work in us! and in our city; that we will stop going over past history and move boldly into this brand-new thing God is gifting us with!
In the words of Lord Alfred Tennyson from In Memoriam (Ring out, wild bells):
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true….
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Ways to Engage God in Prayer Together
in the Weeks to Come:
¨ Give thanks to God for your time; your talents, your treasures
¨ Sit quietly for five minutes daily and open your heart to God’s loving presence
¨ Offer a sentence prayer for Grace Church each day
¨ Come to worship weekly and pray together as a church family
¨ Participate in the 24 Hour Prayer Vigil that begins on January 6th, Friday evening, in the sanctuary during our Epiphany celebration.