Are any among you suffering?
Are any among you cheerful?
Are any among you sick?
The writer of the Letter of James asks these question of his audience. They are rhetorical in nature. Surely many of them were suffering. Surely many of them were cheerful. Surely many of them were sick. A church community is an uneven place. At any given moment our brothers and sisters are taking their first breaths and their last. They are celebrating and they are weeping. They are stepping into their prime and they are easing into their golden years. We find our consistency not in mood nor opinion, but rather in presence. Since 1831 we have stood at what is now the corner of Lyttleton and Laurens Street. We have prayed with the suffering. We have sung with the cheerful. We have anointed the sick. Our bell has mournfully tolled and joyfully rung through out the changes and transformations the last three centuries have bestowed upon us. We have been a firm foundation to dance upon in joy and weep upon in sorrow. You have made that possible. You have given your time. You have givens your talents. You have given your prayers. You have given your hard earned assets. You have grown Grace Church and strengthened her mission.
It is your generosity that has helped us amplify the Spirit and proclaim the Gospel. It is your generosity that will help us continue to do so. I thank you for your gifts this year. A new annual giving campaign is just around the corner. Let us take a deep breath together. Let us wipe the sweat from our brow and look up from the plow to acknowledge the great work that we have done. It is amazing.
I look back at our completed tasks with a humble and grateful heart. I look forward to the work ahead with a renewed spirit and strengthened back. Together we have accomplished so much. Together we will accomplish so much more. Together we will pray when we are suffering. We will sing when we are cheerful. We will heal one another when we are sick. Together we will face the challenges and the victories that lie ahead.
See you Sunday,