Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
Welcome! We are happy that you joined us on Back to Church Sunday! Whether you attend church on a regular basis or accepted an invitation from a family member or friend today, we hope that you will feel comfortable and enjoy spending this day with us.
Many of us have perceptions about church that make us wonder, â€œIs this the place for me? Will I fit in? Why does church make a difference? Who is Jesus?â€ You may want to learn more about who God is and what He has to say about your life. Others of you may have been involved in a church at one time, but for a variety of reasons stopped attending; now you feel itâ€™s time to reconnect with God and others like you. And still others of you may already be involved in church and want to grow deeper in your relationship with God and as part of this community.
Wherever you are in your spiritual journey and whatever your connection to your local church, we would like you to know we care about you and the things that concern you. Our hope is to come alongside you and share what God says in Scriptureâ€”most importantly that He loves and cares for you deeply.
St. Paul gives us a telling example of the greatness and generosity of Godâ€™s love. Paul was a sinner struggling to do right â€“ as he perceived it. On the road to Damascus he encountered the overwhelming light of Jesusâ€™ love. He was commissioned to do right as God sees right.
In recalling all that, he hopes that we will see how much we are offered. Church helps to bring us into relationship with Jesus. We experience His patience, kindness, and forgiveness. We find Godâ€™s way of living life â€“ a life without end. We find community in which we encourage each other and do good for the wider community â€“ not just because, but because we have a hope that goes beyond the here and now. We live a compelling over-arching story. It is Godâ€™s story and we fit into it; it supports our lives.
We pray that you will be encouraged after you hear todayâ€™s message and walk away inspired to become part of Church, part of an amazing relationship with God, His Son Jesus, and a beautiful community that lives His life.