Over the past 10 years I have been privileged to see so many lives being changed for an eternity. I have had the privilege of pastoring and serving with the followers of Jesus at Covenant of the Cross. While none of us are, or were, perfect we shared and continue to share a deep desire to bring healing and hope to the larger region. It has been said that Grace is when we have received more than we deserve and Mercy is when we do not get what we deserve.
We saw mercy when over 4,000 in emergency situations were helped. We saw mercy when everyone responded rapidly to the 2010 flood and how it impacted our community. We saw mercy when we offered free anonymous HIV screening partnering with Nashville Cares. We saw mercy when one month the steps at the front of the church were filled with over 6,000 pounds of food to feed hungry adults and children, and people consistently continue to bring food each month. We saw mercy when people came with broken lives, which they gave to Jesus, to find a living hope.
We saw grace when we were able to buy a church building one-year after we started. We saw it again when we were able to pay off the $160,000 note in 4 months. God’s grace was again evident when we were able to move to a space that allowed us to grow by over 30 percent and opened more ministry because we occupied the old Employment Office in Madison. We saw it when people focused on Jesus and that he could help any and everyone who put their trust in him.
The stories share these two things in common Mercy and Grace, as they are the opposite sides of the same coin. I am humbled and honored to have served this great community of Jesus followers. So much has happened, and yet so much remains to be done. As we step forward to the next 10 years may we always remember the miracles, majesty and the presence of Jesus in our midst and draw strength, sustenance and resilience from it. Happy anniversary Covenant of the Cross. May our next 10 years be as filled with such success and significance as the first 10.