Hope and Grace
Love always hopes–1 Corinthians 13:7.
My mother fought hard for relationships that were threatening to break. As a member of the Body of Christ, she considered it her personal responsibility to fight to preserve “oneness.” She avoided gossip like the plague, but when she learned of trouble brewing in a marriage or any relationship in the church, her mama bear instincts kicked in to protect that part of the Body from severing. She reached out, asked questions, listened, prayed, offered assistance, and reassured the wounded that there is always hope.
I’m not sure my mother ever thought about what her spiritual gift was. Maybe the apostle Paul—and the rest of us—might assign her the category of “encouraging” and “showing mercy” (see Romans 12:3-9).
My mother was quiet. You may have rarely noticed her. Preparing meals; sewing sundresses; cleaning closets; inviting little ones to discover silent treasures inside her “church bag,” which caused a joyful hush in her pew every Sunday morning—none of these things drew attention to herself, but all of these things blessed the Body of Christ. When no one needs credit, Christ gets it instead.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us–Romans 12:6a.
We all want our gifts to be received graciously, even it if we don’t “hit the ball out of the park” every time we offer our gift. Is it okay with you that people “have different gifts, according to the grace given?” Is it okay with you that that brothers and sisters in your church, members of your very own Body, may offer those gifts with differing amounts of faith?
Some gifts are quieter, but who’s to say how much faith it may take to persevere in them?
Grace is the glue that keeps me—and the Church—together. We are truly one Body only when we pour grace out abundantly over each other.
Whether all eyes are on you as you offer your gift or no one sees your sacrifice, you belong. Let’s hold onto hope and keep fighting this good fight of faith together. Let’s live by the grace given to us so every member knows that they belong.
I belonged to a C&MA Alliance church for over 30 years. I raised my 3 girls there and was involved in many ministries. In 2014 the church was closed. Ever since I have missed my church family, especially the AW ministry. Also in 2014 my husband died of cancer. I do attend another church (not CMA) but it has been a lonely & long 7, going on 8, years.
Joyce – Thanks for staying connected with Alliance Women, Joyce. May you continue to find the hope and grace you need through your connections with Jesus and your sisters in Christ.
Beautiful picture of what Christ desires for His Body, the Church.
Love this! Thank you!
Excellent encouragement! Thank you!