Clergy Notes — January 8, 2017

Rhythms of Grace – Taking Notice

…in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.

Exodus 20:24b

Each person’s experience of God’s mercy and grace is a necessary window through which we see and appreciate the mercy of God toward the whole of creation. Christians know that grace is neither earned nor discovered on their own. Touch points of mercy and grace received are what led us and continue to lead us on the path of conversion & transformation.

Conversion (again and again) is one of the fundamental elements of religious life and experience. Gordon T. Smith encourages reflection on our conversion, claiming: “Our whole life is in one sense the working out of the full meaning of our conversion.”1 A review of our past or “connecting the dots of grace” opens us to receive further grace – gratitude, maturity and well-being.

1) Consider how you came to conversion & transformation.

Conversion points look different in every person. A turning point might come when there is stress or turmoil – a sense of guilt, dislocation or abandonment – for which we seek a solution. Others do not experience tension, but longing. Changes, crises open us to new possibilities. Reflect also on the larger picture – daily life, your community, world event. These also may have played a role.

2) Consider the individuals who played an important role in enabling you to come to faith & transformation. How did they influence you?

Reflecting on our religious autobiography helps us to make sense of the past and it also helps us to be all that we are called to be. It is a search for meaning. It should lead us to recognize that God does God’s work in God’s time – slowly – at the pace that we can manage. Reflection of our experience of conversion and transformation leads to the conclusion that our interior life, too, is led by God’s spirit.

Deacon Joyce Locht

  1. Beginning Well: Christian Conversion & Authentic Transformation, Gordon T. Smith, InterVarsity Press: 2011.