First United Presbyterian Church



Romans 3: 22-24

God’s righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him. There’s no distinction. 23 All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, but all are treated as righteous freely by his grace because of a ransom that was paid by Christ Jesus.

All of us fall short, there is no distinction.

All of us are treated as righteous, freely by God’s grace, there is no distinction.

The gift of God’s grace, given to us in Christ Jesus is for all.  It is not ours to decide “who is in and who is out.”  We are all “in” and that is just how it is…… through the grace of God.

The theme of the annual gathering of Presbyterian Church Educators in 2018 will be “Deep & Wide: Boundless Hospitality.”  I have been thinking about that in the weeks since we gathered in January 2017 and first learned the theme for next year.  What does it mean to offer this hospitality?  Ours is to extend hospitality and welcome in the stranger, help the one in need, cloth the one who needs clothes, shelter the one who needs shelter.  When we look at others as being freed by the grace of God, we can see all others as just as worthy and deserving of God’s grace as we are.  Sometimes we don’t feel so worthy ourselves and sometimes we cast judgement on others, sure they are not worthy.  When we are open to see both ourselves and others as truly worthy of God’s grace shown in Jesus, we really are free. We are free to love more fully. We are free to share more openly. We are free to be who God created us to be.

Thinking back to late November I first attended a concert of folk singer, John McCutcheon. He has a song that speaks well to our southern selves called “Ya’ll Means All.” He speaks in this song to this kind of openness. I highly recommend you look it up on YouTube.

“I might not like you and you might not like me. Sometimes that’s just the way things are going to be. Still I’ll catch you if you should fall. Where I come from, ya’ll means all…………There ain’t no difference I can recall that makes a difference.  Ya’ll means all.”

Kristi Button


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