From the Pastor’s Desk: December 2016

In November, Dr. Katie Rhoads made a visit to Grace. Katie is a missionary in Uganda and Sudan. Grace is one of Katie’s supporting congregations, and it’s always a blessing to hear from her.

Katie is a physician. She serves as a doctor and a teacher.  As a doctor (and specifically a surgeon), she provides a wide range of medical care.  As a teacher, she teaches medicine, and she teaches Christians in the communities where she works about Christianity and about the joy of sharing the good news.

As I listened to Katie, I realized that I sometimes forget the power of the gospel – the transformative nature of Christianity. She shared that people she works with have conversion experiences but don’t necessarily know anything about Christianity, about what’s in the Bible. It’s one thing to come to faith. It’s another thing to have your faith inform your life.

She told us a story about being in a village where someone from another tribe came and killed some animals. The response of the people she was with was to retaliate by killing the families of the perpetrators. The people she was with were Christians, but they didn’t know teachings of Christianity; they didn’t know that their faith should inform their actions. Katie told us of sitting with these people and sharing scripture after scripture about forgiveness. Their hearts were changed.

Faith changes lives.

We’re in Advent – the time when we await Christ’s coming. We remember that God took on flesh to live among us, and in that, everything changed. If you are new to faith, I hope you’ll hear the scripture of the season and let it shape you. If you’ve been a Christian for a long time, hear these stories in new ways.  The incarnation, God’s taking on flesh, changed everything.  Continue to let God change and transform you.

In Christ,

Catherine

 

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