Preaching grace

"Perhaps the most offensive and scandalous aspect of speaking the Word of God in our time may be the notion of grace, which announces that from beginning to end our human lives are not of our own making, management, or control. In learning to confess that we are sinful creatures of a gracious God, we discover that our lives are constituted as gifts rather than possessions, whose purpose is to know and love our Creator.

"In Christian worship, then, we acknowledge our grateful dependence according to the particular wisdom displayed in the self-giving of Christ, through which the Spirit evokes responsiveness and receptivity to the God who speaks both creation and salvation. Thus, in a time that calls for a strong, robust message of faith, hope, and love, there is no 'deeply felt need' more urgent than proclaiming the 'foolishness' of the cross - the power and wisdom of the gospel that creates a people of loving praise and glad obedience in whom the Spirit bears witness to the flourishing of humanity before God."