We’ve turned the calendar and amazingly 2021 is shaping up to be a lot like its infamous predecessor! But I’m more and more convinced that the Church needs this. What’s “this”? A time of suffering. The Bible says there is a time for every activity under heaven (Eccl. 3:1), and in the Providence of God there is a time to die, to uproot, to tear down to weep and to mourn.
Why would He allow such things? He alone knows all the reasons. But can’t we agree that the Church has grown focused on the things we can see, on our own comfort and fulfillment? Well, when the “seen” things let us down, when the pampered nest of Western living gets “de-feathered”, it has the effect of chasing us to other kinds of comforts, ones that last and the ones that satisfy. The ones as gospel people we should be living in daily.
Disease, Lockdown, and Unrest
So let disease, lockdown, and unrest have this effect, to press us into hope and to see what God is doing through suffering as we say:
2 Cor 4:16-18: Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Thank You for Your Faithful Giving
Thank you so much for your faithful giving last year and your participation in our Year-End Project. You gave these gifts out of your own generosity and commitment to Jesus Christ.
Your response to the crisis of our times, financially and otherwise, has been truly overwhelming to me, to your board, staff, and elders. What a blessing being provided to the many thousands of people here, and around the world.
Committed to Our Mission
In the coming year, despite massive change and restrictions and uncertainty, I’m as committed as ever to our mission: To make fully devoted followers of Jesus out of the irreligious, the seeking, and the lost. As the ground seems to shift under our feet, doesn’t that make you feel good that our mission never changes? And if the night is darker today, doesn’t it get you excited to think about how biblical Community, compassionate Outreach, the integrity of lives Accountable to Jesus, and the Transcendence experienced in our real connection to a real God will shine all the brighter in 2021? (What is COAT?)
By Him, I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope.
Love in Christ,