Grace is privileged to hear and share faith stories for Mission Weekend 10/29&30. In this post, Liz Katz reflects on her faith journey and the impact of being part of Grace Community Church. God is good!
The Old “Me”
As an adult in my fifties, I found myself searching for something that was intangible. The sense of loss and aloneness was heightened after my parents passed away, and I faced some other, devastating family challenges. At the same time, I rationalized my disobedience to the LORD, because in part I was not sure that God really existed. I struggled with the mystery of faith.
Three years ago, as a visitor to grace, I found myself in tears while listening to Mitchel’s sermon about the significance and importance of prayer. I sensed that there was something powerful in having a prayer life, but I did not know how to pray, or what to pray for. Pastor Mark’s sermon on the Apostle Paul’s letters, which highlighted the strong bonds of connections Paul had among believers across great distances, helped me to realize a need to develop strong and lasting relationships that can endure through difficult times and that are based on a common belief in and reverence for Christ Jesus. And Rich’s first sermon at Grace helped me to see the obstacles that block the capacity to have a genuine relationship with God.
The New “Me”
Drawn into the Word, Sunday after Sunday, I purchased my first Bible and began to read. Now I am part of a rich community of believers that reads together, shares our walk through faith together, has communion together. What a revelation to discover that there is the possibility of a new life that comes through accepting Jesus as the guide to my heart, mind and soul, a Savior who is relational, with a lasting message of love, forgiveness, mercy/grace, discipline and righteousness.
The old strategy of disobedience no longer makes sense. Although I know there will be times when I miss the mark and fall short, the inner core of who I am seeks to strive to bring my darknesses into light; and to be a ray of hope to others who do not yet follow Christ.
Baptism at Grace
During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!