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Posted: March 7, 2013 7:10 p.m.

Scharf: God’s grace

"Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"

King David said that 3,000 years ago in 2 Samuel 7:18-24, but I can totally relate with the sentiment right now, today.

For David, it comes after God gives him the promise that he would establish his throne.

He promised David a descendant (his son, Solomon) who would build the temple David was planning, and then he promised David a descendant (Jesus) who would reign forever and ever and be a blessing to all nations.

So it makes sense David would be floored. "Who am I, Lord?" Do you see what he’s saying? "I don’t deserve this. I haven’t earned any of this honor and blessing." In other words — "This is all grace upon grace upon grace."

But that’s how God works.

Think about this. First of all, I’m a sinner. I was born a sinner. I think like a sinner. I talk like a sinner. I’ve lived like a sinner. I sin like a sinner.

I wish I wouldn’t, but I’ve got to be honest — I sin.

God took this sinner and, first of all, promised me Jesus — his Son. He gave me Jesus to suffer for my sin, pay my debt and defeat my enemies of sin and death and the devil. Jesus did it all. I didn’t deserve it. He gave it.

That’s grace — God’s underserved, promised love.

But, he wasn’t done. He took me, a timid, nervous 28-year-old child, and called me to shepherd his flock here at Abiding Grace.

I wasn’t cut out for that responsibility. I didn’t deserve the call to pastor this church, but God gave it.

That’s grace — God’s free gift — love.

And he wasn’t nearly done. Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the first service of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church.

I think of the last 10 years and all the blessings God has poured out on us as a congregation — the power of his word and sacraments, forgiveness, new life and salvation, opportunity to worship and grow in the word. We didn’t deserve any of it, but he gave it.

That’s Grace — God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

And he still wasn’t done. As he grew each of us individually, he also saw fit to grow our congregation numerically, so that group that started with just over 20 people gathering on Sunday afternoons in a rented space has grown tenfold and then some as more and more come to hear the word and worship the Lord!

And besides that, he’s given us opportunity after opportunity to reach out to the community with the gifts of God’s word knocking on tens of thousands of doors, welcoming thousands and thousands of kids to our children’s events over the years, sharing the word through newspaper columns and newsletters, parade floats and tables at community events.

Why should God use us when he’s got perfect angels? I don’t know — but he does.

That’s grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.

That’s why David’s words fit so well to mark our anniversary:

"How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."

So this Sunday, March 10, we’ll be celebrating our anniversary.

But really, it’s a celebration of God’s grace. We’ll hear with our own ears three of our choirs singing his powerful word (that has accomplished everything we’re celebrating).

The service starts at 10:30 a.m., and I would consider it a gift of grace if you would join us for the service and the banquet that follows.

Rev. Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Worship every Sunday is at 10:30 a.m. Full sermons and more information can be found at

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