Advent: December 23

Advent: December 23

1 Peter 4:7-11

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I am a steward of God’s grace. God’s grace does not hit a dead end when it gets to me. I’m not permitted to keep it all to myself! God has commissioned each of us to spread his grace to others.

We can do that by acting graciously towards others. This does not simply mean that we are to be nice to people! Our monarch is commended to God’s care each time we sing the first line of the National Anthem, and we describe her as gracious. She is, after all, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, … She is gracious because God is gracious to her. She may have ascended to the throne by dint of her ancestry, but few at the time would have placed a bet on her becoming Queen.

She is called to serve as a faithful steward of God’s grace, as are we in our various callings. Our gracious behaviour models the love, the compassion, the mercy and forgiveness of God that we have experienced from him through Jesus. That’s essentially all we have to do. We don’t have to do what God has called us not to do – He wants no more of us than to be the person we are called to be.

As we gather together in fellowship as Church we see a more perfect model, for God has also called us together to be the Body of Christ in our neighbourhoods. Each of us has been given specific parts to play – we do need each other in order to experience a fuller measure of God’s grace. God knows you intimately, and his plan for your life of grace cannot be bettered by anyone, least of all, you. To him be the glory.

Have you consciously or perhaps unconsciously selected the people you prefer to be amongst?

Do you have plans for your life that sit uncomfortably with God’s plans?

How might God’s call to be a steward of his grace be worked out in the place where you are?

How might your church fellowship become a model of God’s grace?

Father God, make me aware of the gifts you have placed on me. Fill me with compassion for those who do not know you, and send me to be alongside those who do not know your saving grace. Empower my church fellowship to be the people you call us to be, so that your grace may be evident in us, and through us in our neighbourhood. Amen.

Further reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-10