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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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First Congregational United Church of Christ, Asheville, NC

The Grace of the Next Moment

March 05, 2010


The Grace of the Next Moment

See here!  For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none.  Cut it down!  Why should it be wasting the soil?  [The gardener] replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.  If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.   Luke 13:7-9, NRSV

Tuesday was another wintry day here in this Atlanta suburb.  I'm guessing we had 4-5 inches of snow at our place.  Schools let out early; meetings and appointments were cancelled.  A very messy, dreary day.

Then, boom!  Thursday morning, I noticed the first redbud buds.  Some daffodils up the road were just breaking out.  A cherry tree out front has the beginnings of buds.  What a difference a day can make!  It's hard not to feel hopeful when encountering the first signs of Spring.

Dissertation-writing was a fairly dreary process for me.  In the midst of the dreariness, though, an idea emerged that, like those daffodils up the road, served as a harbinger of hope: "the grace of the next moment."

"The grace of the next moment" is the idea that no matter how bad we feel in any given moment, no matter how badly we've messed up, every next moment (which, when you think about it, is EVERY moment) is an opportunity to begin again.  Every moment of our lives is a second chance!

Kind of cool, huh?  No matter how much we mess up, with God, our Gardener-friend, there is still grace.  There is always the chance to begin again.

How will you use this second chance?  And this one?  And this one?  And this one?  And this one?  And...

Blessings for the next--and every--moment of your journey,


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