John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.
You have come from different neighborhoods and spaces. Some of you come hurting and grieving or just tired. Some of you come numb, distracted, and feeling isolated and alone. Some of you feel overlooked or unworthy. Some of you come grateful that you have recently emerged from one of these past places. Some of you come content and at peace as God has granted you the blessing of this present moment. Some of you come exhilarated and inspired as God has given you a vision for your future. All of us are here now, together, with one another and with our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Sustainer. We are here in this space. Welcome to Grace. Let us stand and Welcome this Grace into our lives by singing together.