The Reformers of the 16th Century drew the Church’s attention, again, to the New Testament message of God’s grace – God’s loving kindness. This meant that instead of trying to earn God’s love by ritual, behaviour or obeying various laws, Christians came to realise, again, that God’s love is given to us even though we don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it, but have to learn to accept it – and to accept it in the context of a community of faith.
God’s love is greater, more radical and wider than we can ever imagine. God’s love motivates us to include others, to live lives of love, and to realise that we’re loved and accepted unconditionally. This is what we try to emulate in the Church. God’s love drives us to find ways to meet the needs of our world, to help people find healing and wholeness, and to find a spirituality which nurtures us, helps us grow and understand more about God.
As a grace-driven community we involve ourselves in practical ways of help others – getting involved in the local community, giving money to our “Commitment to Life” programme which helps the developing world and trying to be a positive blessing for our world as a sign of God’s loving kindness. Being grace-driven also leads us to try and include all those who come along. In the words of a popular hymn by American Reformed hymn writer Marty Haugen:
Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
A place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place!