"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people." -Titus 2:11
I teach a religion class at Parkview High School and for this semester's final project I challenged the students to write a paper answering three questions: What is today's church doing well? How is today's church in need of improvement? How can you personally be involved in the church to help them grow?
I was amazed at the maturity and wisdom the students displayed in their responses. And while each student spoke with their own unique identity, there was a consistent theme in their writing; the desire for inclusiveness.
This generation of young people are profoundly aware of the diverse world around them and have taken note when the local church acknowledges (or refuses to acknowledge) that diversity. "Churches that don't represent their surrounding city are doomed to fail," one student observed. That representation includes cultural, racial, gender, and economic demographics. "It bothers me when a church spends millions of dollars on a huge building and doesn't put any money into helping others in the community." That's why I'm so proud of the vision here at The Nett at Berkmar.
As we inch closer and closer to Christmas day, let us remember that God's grace is available to all and that we, as the church, are called to be the messengers of that grace. We share that message through our personal invitations, through our words of encouragement, and through our actions.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for boundary-breaking grace. Challenge and inspire us to cross the borders in our hearts and be a church that reaches out in love. Amen.