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Grace is the manifestation of God’s steadfast love. It is through God’s Grace, freely given & bestowed upon us by our Creator that we come to know the character of God & thus the image we are created to reflect.

Bathed in God’s Grace: Part 1

The Manifestation of God’s Steadfast Love

 

In the Holy Bible we read that our Holy Living God created the heavens & the earth & every living thing that has breath of life. He then said; “Let us make humankind in our image according to our likeness & let them have dominion/stewardship over all living things.” God saw all He had created & indeed it was very good. No one has ever seen God physically. However, it is not the physical image of God but rather the innate character of God our Creator that we are created in & called & empowered by the Holy Spirit to reflect outward through our living. That is our purpose in life. The vast majority of faith traditions support the theology that the primary innate characteristic of the heart of God is that of unconditional, steadfast, inclusive Love for all of His creation. God & love are synonymous. His unending love is responsible for everything good in life including all forms of beauty, compassion, kindness, justice, gentleness, patience, joy, peace, forgiveness, mercy, generosity, charity & faithfulness. Grace is the manifestation of God’s steadfast love. It is through God’s Grace, freely given & bestowed upon us by our Creator that we come to know the character of God & thus the image we are created to reflect. Though Grace is freely given, ever present & is all around us, for a variety of reasons sometimes we may lack the receptors to recognize & receive God’s Grace. Still, despite how many times we may lose our way or neglect to recognize or receive or spread His Grace when it is right in front of us, God is steadfast in His love for us & will never abandon us or give up on us. He will always show us a way around whatever it is that is blocking our view & give us the strength to live into His call spreading His Grace throughout all creation.

A World Seeking God’s Healing Grace

The reality that God created & called all humans to reflect His love to the world is a significant, overwhelming & humbling gift isn’t it? God created all human beings in His image & declared all of His creation good. However, as good as God declared His creation to be there are times that we encounter turbulent storms in our lives that challenge & unbalance us, often to the point of drawing us away from living into the image of which we were created. When storms fall upon us it can feel very dark. In the darkness of a storm it can be a challenge to remember that the Light of God is always there for us, even when it is temporarily hidden behind the dark clouds. It can be a real challenge to know exactly how to witness & spread God’s Grace when we can’t see where we are going. Still, it is in the darkness of the storms of life when in many ways, Grace is needed the most. So, the question is, what do we do, as those created in the image of God called & empowered to reflect God’s healing Grace to the world, when life feels dark & hope is hard to find? How do we witness & usher in God’s kingdom defined by; unconditional love, justice, peace, love, faith & hope for all of God’s children when we are overcome by the turbulent storms of life ourselves & where do we get the energy to reflect God’s love & change the course of things in this world we live in, in a way that reflects the character of our Creator? These are big, important questions, for the answer to these questions can shape the world.

Unfortunately, we are currently in one of those turbulent storms. This storm known as the COVID-19 virus has taken on several different forms at this time & has been going on for six months at the date of this writing. The COVID-19 virus is severe & in many ways, living through it & managing it has altered the normal way we live our lives & thus challenged us as to how we are going to live into the image of God in which we were created. The severity of the virus itself & the rapid spread of it, as well as, the attempt to contain it has caused: death, suffering, loss, grief, fear, depression, the necessity to live in quarantine, social distancing, the closing of schools, churches & many business, extreme economic loss, grief, fear, hopelessness, intense stress, frustration & general impatience, to name just a few. Additionally, the wide controversy regarding how to handle these situations has caused: anger, division, blame & in some cases violence, as we live through these days. All these feelings & changes to our way of life, as well as, the fact that we do not know when the virus will end or even whether it will ever end, have driven people in despair to ask where God is in all of this? The storm of this pandemic does makes us all wonder whether there is any hope, & if so, where does all hope lie, & what exactly are we hoping for, doesn’t it?

 

~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy

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Inspired Health Group

3671 Southwestern Blvd.
Suites 101 & 213
Orchard Park, NY 14127-1752

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