Greetings from the Moderator NOVEMBER 2019
Grateful for Grace
In a few weeks, many will gather around tables with loved ones to enjoy good food and great fellowship while offering thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed throughout the year. In addition to the ingredients for meals that will be made, I imagine that on the list this Thanksgiving will be words of gratitude for the delicious turkey and the side dishes and dessert that accompany it. Surely there will be words of thanksgiving offered for the gift of family, friends and people of faith that accompany us on life’s journey. Certainly there will be words of gratitude to God for answering specific prayers prayed throughout this year.
Others will join me in offering words of gratitude for grace. Grace, not the prayer prayed before we dig into our meal, but grace, the undeserved and unearned kindness that flows into our lives as a gift of God.
Grace is the encouragement of friends when we are confused and overwhelmed.
Grace is the hand that reaches out to remind us that we are not alone.
Grace is the voice that reminds us that we are loved, just as we are.
Grace is the guide that helps us to see possibility in the face of seemingly impossible circumstances.
Grace is the ability to accomplish a task that is beyond our means and/or our strength.
Grace is the forgiveness of a debt that cannot be repaid.
Grace is a gift given by God.
Grace is a gift; it is the unmerited favor of God given with no expectations or strings attached. God does not expect us to repay God for what God does for us. Nevertheless, as an expression of thanksgiving, we are often moved to say ‘Thank you’ by extending grace to others in various ways. As a gift of grace, we are alive today and we have been given the opportunity to be conduits of grace for others. As a gift of grace, I have been afforded the opportunity to serve as the 2019 Moderator of this presbytery and to join in what God is doing in the world through you; for this I am truly grateful.
“Amazing grace, shall always be my song of praise,
For it was grace, that bought my liberty.
I do not know just why God chose to love me so,
God looked beyond my faults and saw my need.”
This year I am especially grateful for God’s grace. What about you? What are you grateful for?
Rev. Erika Rembert Smith
 Dottie Rambo, He Looked Beyond My Fault (No. 249) in the African American Heritage Hymnal, (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2001). The words have been adapted from this source.