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Signs of God's Grace

Signs of God's Grace

Grace happens. All the time. Grace is God's gift to us. The signs of God's grace are abundant. Some are dramatic. Many at first glance seem mundane. All are potentially life transforming.

The signs of God's grace are often obscured by other signs that claim importance and demand our attention: signs in the economy and the political landscape; signs from the flock of electronic devices that we keep at the ready; signs from various medical devices and treatments which provide benchmarks on our relative state of health.

Yet before there was biology and politics and technology, there was God's grace.

God created us, but God was not – and is not, finished with creating. God keeps showing up. God is very much at work. Our job as God's creatures, is to pay attention to God's grace. And to join with God in God's work.

In early 2006, when the Diocese of Newark engaged in a search for a new bishop, it published a profile of the diocese and entitled it "Signs of Grace." As that now not-so-new bishop, I regularly refer to the profile. It highlights the signs of grace in the history, worship, people and ministries of Episcopalians in northern New Jersey.

The profile challenged the bishop to be the chief spiritual officer of the diocese, and invited the diocese to be mindful of the signs of grace. I am becoming more intentional about living into the chief spiritual officer role, and this summer the diocesan leadership team and I modified the profile title a bit – to "signs of God's grace" – and have claimed it as a galvanizing metaphor of our life together.

As we begin another program year, we will be paying more attention to the signs of God's grace. I will write about it regularly. A new page on our website, Signs of God's Grace, will give people opportunity to witness to moments of God's grace in their own lives, in their congregations and in creation. In our prayer services at Episcopal House we will provide space for identifying signs of God's grace. I invite individuals and congregations to develop a practice of noting moments of grace.

By paying attention to manifestations of God's grace, we become more alert to discerning what God is up to, and then we are better able to embrace the gift of God's abundance – and participate more fully in God's mission of generating grace.

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