weekend’s Grace Place Wellness Weekend is the “keynote” of our
Lenten journey, “By His Wounds We are Healed.” I’ve used the analogy
of the journey throughout this Lenten season and it would be wrong
to see this as the destination. Grace Place is more like the vehicle
which takes us to the healing work of Christ.
Monica was in preschool when I bought
my last vehicle. My dad often reminds me that I need to think about
an upgrade. Though I need a pair of pliers to turn on the headlights
and it prefers me as the driver who knows its quirks and need for
gentleness, my car gets me where I need to go.
anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new
Generally vehicles depreciate in value
and the older they get the higher the maintenance costs climb. The
vehicle of Grace Place, however, is an investment in our lives that
will appreciate in value if we get behind the wheel. The engine that
drives the Wholeness Wheel (illustrated here) revs up out of our
baptism. It is through baptism that Jesus’ resurrection is applied
to our lives, raising us up with him to be God’s new creation.
Baptism not only gives us a shiny, powerful, hot new vehicle to
drive; it gives us a vehicle that never depreciates or fades away.
It never needs maintenance. This vehicle maintains our health.
"All this is
from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ…
Baptism may not depreciate, but we
most certainly can devalue it. It is why we need regular occasions
for the same Spirit who wraps himself around our baptism to carry
out regular maintenance work on us. In such a grace place we meet
Jesus who reconciles and brings life back into balance. The Grace
Place experience is showing us how to climb into that baptism
vehicle and drive it around—not merely in a religious context—but in
every dimension of the life we have as children of God. Baptism
drives God’s creative and healing work in our vocations,
relationships and finances; it is a grace place for our physical,
intellectual and emotional health.
"And he has
committed to us the message of reconciliation...
John Eckrich began
Grace Place Lutheran Retreats with
a focus on church workers. He realized that the health of leaders in
congregations and schools directly impacted their ability to carry
the ministry of reconciliation to others. Four members of our staff
at St. John’s have taken part in a Grace Place Retreat prior to this
weekend. This healing ministry has been an appreciable asset in our
lives. Two years ago, when the vision was cast by Dr. John,
Wheatridge Ministries and others to
bring the retreat to St. John’s it was the obvious thing to do.
therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal
through us." (Scripture
references from 2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
We all feel the fatigue that comes
when we drive through life without the preventative maintenance work
of bringing God’s healthy balance into our lives. This Lenten road
trip has been a way to heal that fatigue and re-energize our spirit
through the one true healer: Jesus. Grace Place is keynoting this
journey with a baptismal tune-up. It is providing us the tools for
preventative maintenance. This Grace Place, our new creation in our
baptism, will have healing applications far beyond us here. We’re
driving out of here healed and refreshed to be Christ’s ambassadors
of reconciliation to the world.
(c)2012 St. John's Lutheran Church and School |
505 S Park RD | La Grange IL 60525
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