Faith: Transformed by Grace

Scripture:  but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2Corin 12:9 (NRSV)

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This year I had the privilege of visiting St. Thomas Virgin Islands on a mission trip with a group from Marble Church. It was late May, months after both Hurricane Irma and Maria had landed and destroyed many areas of the Island. Our mission was to work with My Brother’s Workshop, a charitable organization started in 2007 on the steps of our sister church, St. Thomas Reformed Church as a mobile mission that contracted off site construction projects. Their goal is to provide hope, faith, and purpose to at-risk and high-risk young people, ages 16-24.

The purpose of our trip was to bring our skills and work with this organization to continue to help those afflicted by the hurricanes. It was an experience that left an impression in both my heart and mind. Many of the folks we met on the Island, though still struggling with devastation, are resilient and inspiring, full of God’s love and grace and grateful to have us there.

Speaking of God’s grace… it is often described by Christianity as an unearned gift from God, or in other words, God’s unending love and forgiveness. In St. Thomas, I realized that we had brought more than our skills. I found that as we listened, laughed and shared of ourselves, we connected with so many of those we met… youth that are trying to make their lives meaningful; children, while in their classroom singing that sweet song, “I am a Promise, I am a Possibility…” and seniors like the 80-year old blind man we met, exhibiting pure joy and thankfulness to God while the crew worked diligently to repair his entire home. I found God met us with grace and love through everyone.

I pray that during this advent season, we remember God’s grace in our lives, as well as for those who can live into it, even as they suffer through grief and loss. God’s grace is available for all… at no cost! Let us open our hearts to receive that grace that shines radiantly in the birth of the Christ child.

God, please help me to remember that when I use my skills to serve someone, your love and grace precede me, and that your grace is sufficient for me and for all whom I meet.

Submitted by Sandy Diaz
* http://www.mybrothersworkshop.org

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