In Bishop Fairley’s introductory message as our episcopal leader, he reminds us that God will provide a grace that is always sufficient to complete God’s good work in, among, and through us.
“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the Gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:3-6
This is what we believe as my wife, Dawn, and I begin our life in this liminal season with the people called United Methodist in North Carolina. We count it a privilege and an honor to serve alongside you as fellow laborers with God because we know that God has this divine habit of using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. God has done it over and over again among the people of God who are rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ.
Friends, there is something in my spirit that tells me that God is still doing acts of mercy, love, justice, and peace among God’s people here in North Carolina even in this liminal season of uncertainty, anxiety and, yes, polarization. Despite all of this, it is our prayer and deep confidence that the one who began a good work among you will indeed bring it to completion. Yes, but how? “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of host.” Zechariah 4:6
Sisters and brothers in Christ, the how has, is, and will always be rooted in our life together with Christ. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is saving grace enough for this journey. Holy Spirit grace upon grace that empowers, encourages, and equips us for every good and perfect work that comes from above.
Let us continue to seek peace with everyone, letting our love be mutual, allowing our acts of social justice to flow from the deep wells of spiritual holiness. If there is anything I’ve learned from being nurtured by the people of NC, it is that there is grace enough for this journey. I’ve had to call on that grace many times and God in Jesus Christ hasn’t failed me yet. I don’t always know the when and the how, but somehow God opens a door and the works of salvation, redemption, reconciliation, mercy, love, and peace continue. Dawn and I are simply here to walk and work alongside you in the work God has already begun. We are excited to see the possibilities and to live the promise.
Dawn and I covet your prayers in this season of our lives together with you in Christ. And so peace my brothers and sisters as we share in this journey together with a grace that will always be sufficient for all that we might ever do.