Hard Truth and Messy Grace

Rev. Dr. Leah Hidde-Gregory, a district superintendent and dean of the Cabinet in the Central Texas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, addressed the 2018 Global Gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, focusing on the theme “Unashamed of Christ and His Claims.” We are pleased to release a video of her message.

Speaking to more than 2,500 laity and clergy gathered at the live venue at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta, Georgia, and at 105 simulcast sites, Hidde-Gregory declared, “I stand today unashamed of Christ because of what he has done in my life and what he has done in the lives of others.” Hidde-Gregory shared her story of brokenness and how Jesus met her in a church that unapologetically declared both the hard truth of God’s plan for human flourishing and the messy grace of God’s transforming love.

“Because you see, in this community of faith where people were met with hard truth and messy grace, I watched person after person be transformed. [It was] a message that included the doctrine of sin and the doctrine of grace. I watched people turn loose of what was unholy in their lives and grab hold of God,” Hidde-Gregory proclaimed.

Noting that the UM Church is standing at a crossroads, Hidde-Gregory declared with confidence, “I can’t help but think God is spurring us towards revival.”

From her personal journey of faith and her study of the Scriptures, Hidde-Gregory celebrated the claims of Jesus:

  • Jesus is for all. “Anyone who repents of their sins and seeks to walk in a better relationship with one another and God, drawing closer to Christ, is invited – the outcast and the popular, the gay, the straight, the black, the white, the Hispanic, the ex-convict, the sex offender, the homeless, and even the sweet little grandma. Even a Pharisee.”
  • Grace is sufficient for everyone. “Jesus knows everything about you, and he loves you anyway.”
  • Christ is making all things new.
  • Jesus is the Messiah – the Savior who takes away our sins.

Hidde-Gregory lamented the efforts of some to contextualize the truth of the Bible. “The Gospel of Jesus Christ coming to us, Emmanuel, God with us, his life, his death, his resurrection, the Good News is not contextual,” she declared. “We can no longer have the form of religion and not have the power of the Savior.”

You can watch Hidde-Gregory’s entire presentation here and download it to share with others. You can also watch the opening message brought by Bishop Mike Lowry here and download it as well. Additional messages from the WCA’s Global Gathering will be released in the coming days.

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