Our 2020 theme for GCI is “Hope.” The vision remains the same, Healthy Church. “Hope” is the special focus area for the New Year.
We will be writing many articles about the hope we share in Jesus and how this is the hope that the world needs.
We categorize the ministries of Jesus under the headings of Faith, Hope and Love, He is the personification of all three virtues. When we speak of the ministry space of Hope, we are focused on the reason the church gathers, to point the assembled church to Jesus; the one who is hope.
When the church gathers, we expect that it will be made up of seasoned believers as well as newcomers. And you know what? All peoples who form the assembly need the assurance and certainty that comes in knowing Jesus and encountering him in corporate worship.
In July the church will have representatives from around the world assemble to attend the Denominational Celebration in Charlotte, NC. From Wednesday July 29th, Sunday August 2nd we will come before our Lord and rejoice.
As I prepare myself to address the participants, I find myself studying Paul’s letter to the church at Rome.
The first part of Romans chapter 12 talks about our reasonable act of worship is to surrender our lives to the living God and then fully utilize the gifts he has placed in each one of us. He builds from this platform and speaks to the matter of “one-to-anothering.” A phrase that he often writes about.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another…
Because of hope, or we can just as easily say “because of Jesus”, we can “one-to-another” well. We can love as caring siblings; we can honor others by esteeming them over ourselves; and we can be of the same mind because the mind of Christ abides in each of us. This will be a time to rejoice as we rally around Jesus and the sure hope we have because of him.
C.S. Lewis viewed “Hope” as a theological virtue.
He goes on to say: “This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”
Church let’s become fully grounded in the hope of Jesus and I hope to see many of you in July.
I am Greg Williams keeping you updated on the life of the church.