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Grace Alone

Dear Cathedral Family,

One of the best hours of my week is the time I spend with the Bible study group reading Paul’s Letter to the Romans together. We are coming to the end of this sometimes dense, sometimes baffling, often uplifting expression of faith in God’s promises. We continue to question, to dig deeper into the Word, and to wonder and even laugh. Through all our reading we come back to Paul’s essential teaching, understood so clearly by Thomas Cranmer and embodied by him in the Book of Common Prayer— grace alone.

This Sunday we will all read together from Romans chapter four, Paul’s explanation of our Genesis reading describing God’s promise to Abraham. Paul writes that the promise “rests on grace” and “depends on faith.” Abraham believed God, “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” Even as many years passed and his body grew weaker, Abraham’s faith grew stronger, convinced that God would do as promised.

Jesus tells those who want to follow him that in doing so they will need to “take up their cross.” Yours is not the same as mine, or anyone else’s. But all of us who want to believe carry our own life’s testing and challenge as we wait for God’s promise to us to be fulfilled. The good news is that in carrying it we can grow stronger knowing that grace holds us up and catches us when we stumble and fall.

I know that many of you are reading through Mark together during this Lent, and I hope and pray that your daily reading helps you to examine your own life and strengthen your faith.



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