My hope is that this Easter will bring with it a celebration in our midst that renews our faith and our dedication to the mission of Jesus. The Lord left heaven, where He was worshipped and loved, to come to our broken world to rescue us. He was hated, abandoned, and left for dead by almost everyone. But this was the will of God. In order for us to be saved, God had to take on our due punishment. What we celebrate at Easter is the work of Christ to overcome sin and death. That victory was won not so we could simply have it and hide it. That victory was won so we would have it and share it with the world.
Easter is one of the best times of the year to share our hope with the world. Please please please do not miss this opportunity to join God in what He is doing to impact our city with the Gospel. I know that most of us would never seek to provide a purposed stumbling block to another being saved, but many of us might accidentally keep others from hearing and knowing about Jesus with our inactivity. Rather than worrying so much about what we are going to wear, where we will eat, and when we will take pictures, let’s focus our attention on praying for friends and families, ensuring that they will attend worship with us at one of our seven services this Easter (Thursday, 7 pm, Saturday 6:30 pm, Sunday 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, in the Chapel Sunday at 9:30 am, or at Redeemer on Sunday at 10:34 am), and make sure they meet other new friends when they come. Let’s make them a part of our circle of friends, so they know they are always welcome at Living Hope and have people in our family they can trust, find help from, and join in worshipping the one true God.
This tendency to focus on ourselves rather than God’s mission is not new. It is what led to the demise of Israel and then later to Gospel churches and movements over the years. Do not let that be said about Living Hope. Let’s do what God has called us to do. God has called us to be a multi-generational family of disciples that makes disciples. Our goal is to reach 1%. To make that goal a reality, we are going to have to be intentional. Our worship experience here at Living Hope must speak to all generations. We, as a church, are committed to creating an atmosphere that demands praise for our God and lights our hearts aflame for the work He is doing. We want our church family and our guests to feel the Spirit move in our time of worship, and we are excited about the direction we are headed in. Open your hearts and minds, pray for this time of transition, and trust in God’s calling that it may move our church and the community.
Change is inevitable for healthy bodies. Although hard, it is essential for our well-being. Living Hope is a healthy body, but we must continue to evolve to better reach our community. We will not change what we believe. That is set in stone. God is leading us to change how we communicate and celebrate the Gospel. Change is not new to Living Hope. We have gone through many changes in how we worship and how we make disciples over the forty-plus years of this great church. So let’s join in what God is doing. Let’s become what God is calling us to be: a multi-generational family of disciples making disciples in order to reach 1% of our city. That is why we are here, and I can’t wait to share this new journey with you.