by Rev. Charlie Baber
Center With Prayer:
Creator of birth and rebirth, remove the veil from my heart that keeps me from knowing you more perfectly. Christ, lifted up on the cross of death to heal all who look upon you and believe, strengthen my heart to accept your Word as transforming truth in my life. Wild and untamed Holy Spirit, catch me up in your movements that I may go where you send me. Amen.
Read the Scripture: John 3:1-17.
I recently drew a comic about God’s love and a Methodist understanding of the Way of Salvation. It’s also based on my experience with animal rescue and fostering. Prevenient grace is the Holy Spirit at work in every single person, beckoning us all to God. Since all my students take Spanish and not Latin or French, I told them to call it “Pre-Vamonos” grace: “Everybody, Let’s GO!” It’s like the porch of a house, inviting you to come in. Justifying grace is the turning point, where we recognize our profound need for God, repent and trust in Christ. It’s “Just-if-I’d” never sinned, and the faithfulness of Christ fills up and covers over our faithlessness. It’s like the door into the house where the party is going on. Sanctifying grace is a life in Christ, growing to be more and more like God as we grow closer to God. It’s the whole party house. But we can make some pretty terrible mistakes, and turn our backs on God. Fortunately, God’s grace is always first, always going before us, always calling us back. We love because God first loved us.
Take a moment to read the comic below. Reflect on the ways God has fostered salvation in your life and rescued you. Then go forth in your salvation and love the world that God has so loved…
Rev. Charlie Baber is a deacon serving at Highland United Methodist in Raleigh, North Carolina. Charlie has a weekly comic-blog called Wesley Bros.