Daily Devotion for October 23, 2020

Grace Upon Grace

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  (Ephesians 4:4-7)

 One. One God. One body (Church/community of Christian faith). One faith. One baptism. One Spirit.
 
We live as called people of God, people of faith, into the one hope of our calling. And we are blessed with “grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift,” which means grace upon grace upon grace…
 
It is this foundation of one-ness, this fountain of baptismal grace in which we live. We have been given such abundant grace! And yet, how difficult it so often is for us to understand and accept this grace for ourselves. And how difficult it so often is for us to believe this grace is freely and abundantly given for all, especially in this time of seemingly unending stress and change surrounding us. We are so easily impatient with the physical distancing required of us. We yearn for real connection and physical contact. Yet, in God’s grace, we are this one body in Christ, called in one hope and given grace in abundance, even when we are apart, even when we meet virtually.
 
Tomorrow (Saturday, October 24) we will hold our 2020 Annual Conference Session virtually. We will worship and remember, and do our Conference business, and pray, and celebrate together. We will be together in Spirit, even though we won’t be in the same room together. Nothing about this year’s virtual Annual Conference is the same. It has not been an easy process. Conference leaders and staff have been learning and developing the ways this will happen as we create the plans and videos to produce this Annual Conference virtually. In this time of physical distancing, we realize how very important it is for us to affirm that we are one body. In these times of turmoil and unrest, we realize how very important it is for us to trust in our calling in the one hope of Jesus Christ, through our baptism and faith. In this time of almost everything being new and different, we are well aware of how much grace we will need throughout the day. Thanks be to God for the gift of this grace.
 
You are invited to pray. Please hold Bishop Jung in prayer as he presides during our virtual Annual Conference. Pray for everyone involved in presenting reports and providing all the behind-the-scenes support to make this day a fruitful experience for us all. Hundreds of hours of time, care, passion, and attention have been invested in preparing for this day. Pray for the lay and clergy members who are newly learning about Zoom and virtual voting and the needed technologies to participate. Pray for all the participants – and the churches and ministries we represent. Pray for our Annual Conference – for God’s grace upon grace upon grace to flow in and through all we do. Thank you.
 
God of grace, thank you for all the ways you hold us in your Spirit. In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen.

May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.