There’s an old newsletter on my desk this morning. It comes from a time when there was a different pastor. Funny. That pastor’s pitch was about growth, about our call to be active in ministry, and a challenge to go forward with hope into the future, trusting that God was at work to bring all the resources needed for that growth. Some things never change. That’s a lot of what’s on my mind these days as well. I worry about our growth. I worry about our spiritual health. I worry about our financial foundation. But I am confident at the same time. I am confident that the God who began a good work in us will bring it to completion in Jesus Christ (see Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:6).
We are God’s own. We have been won by God’s love, demonstrated in God’s presence in our human history. We have been claimed by God’s power, the same power which raised Jesus from the dead. That power is at work in us to continue the work of healing and reconciliation which Jesus began in his own ministry. So the space we occupy is not ours, it is God’s house. The money we collect is not ours, it is God’s resource for our ministry and our work in the world. The wine and bread we share on Sunday mornings is not just what Arline Welborn bakes for us, or what Mogen David bottles, it is a meal prepared for our nourishment by Jesus himself. Our prayers are not just our hopes thrown out into the stratosphere, they rise like incense to the God who wants to give us everything good. We come together not just to visit and share, but to celebrate our call to ministry played out in our world, and to praise the God who gathers us to do his work. We join the songs of angels and heaven and earth join us in hymns of praise. I thank God for you and the hope which has kept you going through serious ups and downs in the last few years.
And. And…I want to challenge you. What is God equipping us for as we look ahead? Where do our dreams and God’s dreams come together? Come talk together, pray together, dream together. It’s time to do it again.