Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amazing Grace, A Significance

I awoke early this morning at the first hint of light. It didn't take long to realize that a front is gently blowing through Boise as the temperature in the house had dropped noticeably. But then I heard them, the chimes ringing outside the window on the patio. This is significant. The chimes are "tuned" to Amazing Grace and were given to me by a clergywoman friend as I was departing Atlanta.

This act was significant in itself. This woman is a beautiful spirit. Yes, "is." She goes through life and ministry creating a sense of peace and hope, along with a great sense of humor. I miss ministering with her. Her journey to ordination was not easy because it was not "traditional." From the moment we met I realized that she had a deep and sincere call to minister with people who were in search of meaning in their lives whether on a personal spiritual level or in a community of believers seeking to be faithful to God's call to their ministry. To this day, whenever I hear the chimes I send a pray forth for my friend, that grace would abound in her life.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Waking to the tones of Amazing Grace is significant for the day as I prepare to head to Pittsburgh for the 220th meeting of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the "General Assembly". These meetings are always an amazing mixture of homecoming and information sharing, of hope and despair, of unity and disunity. I have been accused of being a "GA junkie" since I was a voting commissioner to the 200th General Assembly. I believe in the assembly of diverse people theologically, ethnically, geographically. For me it is a gathering where one can listen and learn, can worship and debate, where one can cry and laugh, where one can feel the Spirit of God's presence.

The grace of my friend weaves through my life as a continuing blessing. The grace of God leads my life. There is not a day that passes that I don't thank God for the the gift of forgiveness, for guiding me in relationships, for challenging me to be open in my thinking to the moving of the Spirit, for loving me as I muck up life. 

As I prepare on a practical level to participate in the General Assembly meeting, I also go with a prayer constantly in my heart that the grace of God will be evident, that the people of God will participate with grace - grace toward others who are different than they - that grace will teach and heal and celebrate as decisions are made that will affect the future of the denomination.

Amazing Grace - filled with hope for life and the Church.

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