The quiet de­spair within me was only tem­po­rar­ily dis­tracted by the next grand in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion project or the next big va­ca­tion.

Greenwich Time - - NEWS - The Rev. Drew Wil­liams is the se­nior pas­tor of Trin­ity Church.

faith dur­ing Lent. I did not know much about Lent or the Chris­tian faith, but the small group of peo­ple who in­trigued me would be there and, as they had been so kind and wel­com­ing to us, Elena and I thought that we would go and en­cour­age them.

Un­be­liev­ably, the Lent course had the same ef­fect upon me as the strange rain­bow hymn. When it came to an end, we learned that a weekly Bible study group was start­ing and I heard my­self vol­un­teer to host the group at our big house. Not only was my wife mad at me for that sur­prise of­fer, but I had to go out and buy a Bible. Soon I found that I was count­ing the days un­til the next Bible study group. Some­times I even read ahead. One morn­ing I said to Elena, “If Je­sus is real and if he is who he says he is, that re­ally does change ev­ery­thing.”

I can’t quite tell you when, but some­time later, the aching in­side me stopped. Sud­denly, there was a new love, a new pur­pose and a peace in God’s mercy over me. Sud­denly, my life did not feel like such a waste. Very sim­ply, the love of God had come search­ing for me in the good­ness of a com­mu­nity of his peo­ple. Through their pa­tient love, I dis­cov­ered that Je­sus knew my name, of­fered me scan­dalous grace and un­fath­omable love, and had a plan for my life.

Two thou­sand years ago, out in the fresh air, vast crowds pushed in around Je­sus to hear him teach what we call “The Ser­mon on the Mount.” The ac­count in chap­ters 5-7 of the Gospel of Matthew doesn’t note any­one spe­cial in the throng of hope­less, spir­i­tu­ally hun­gry peo­ple. Yet Je­sus looked out upon them and saw some­thing that no­body else had seen. He told them, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).

He was look­ing at his church. He still feels ex­actly the same way. That small group of friends taught me that to­gether, in God, we can change our world — within us and around us. We can beat back the dark­ness and be the light. Each one of us has some­thing vi­tal, some­thing pre­cious to con­trib­ute. Je­sus’ res­ur­rec­tion let loose a rev­o­lu­tion — an upris­ing of hope so strong that for 2,000 years, peo­ple have un­der­stood that how­ever tragic their cir­cum­stances, how­ever ap­palling their trans­gres­sions, how­ever bleak the im­me­di­ate out­look, how­ever be­lea­guered the church, the love and mercy of Je­sus can­not be over­come.

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