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Hello to Us

January 30, 2016

Picking up where we left off yesterday…

The worship leader opened with, “Hello, Saints!”

The church chuckled.

Then she shouted, “Hello, Sinners!”

The church squirmed.

I felt right at home.

Because I’m a sinner, but that’s not the end of it all.

I knew I was home when she hit us with the Gospel: “Hello, Sinners who are saved and becoming Saints!”

Scripture says that all have sinned (Romans 3:23). That’s not subtle; it means you and I are sinners.

Scripture also says that it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8). That’s not subtle, either; it means God’s grace-full gift of new life really is amazing.

Scripture also says, Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). In the original version that’s presented as an ongoing action verb and is always in present tense. It’s a process. Our Bibles are filled with verses about the changes God can make, and some are sudden and some take time.

This takes time.

The people now called United Methodists used to sing and speak of Holiness, believing it to be a life-long process of transformation. It involves God at work in the hearts and minds and lives of people.

People just like you and me.

In fact, by the grace of God, all of us, even you and me.

We who are both sinners and saints.

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