2018 is behind us. What will 2019 bring?
We talked a whole lot about following Jesus in 2018. We talked about doing the things He did. We talked about being the church of Jesus and pressing on to maturity. We talked about not buying into the status quo of society's system and about daring to ask Jesus to make us more like Him. Basically, we did a whole lot of talking about Jesus.
Do you know what's coming in 2019? We're going to be talking about Jesus, talking about Grace and worshiping Jesus together...again. The truth is, we're never going to move on to something else. Jesus, His work on the cross and His work in our lives is what we are all about. It's right there in that logo you see every week on the bulletin, newsletter and sign,
First, the cross is a very big deal. It's why you see a cross mounted on the window to the left as you come through the front door and why you see it again in our music slides, announcement slides and everywhere you see our logo. Jesus went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and cleanse us by shedding His blood. Our monthly communion celebration reminds us of His incredible love for us. Our cross is empty because Jesus is not on it anymore. He was buried and then, rose from the dead, as He promised. The empty cross reminds us that He came, He died and He rose for us!
The bridge in our logo reminds us that Jesus is the only path to heaven; the bridge across the separation between God and man. It also reminds us that Jesus joins us together as His Church, created and commissioned to do the same things that He did. We are to share life and build bridges of love and hope with each other, our neighbors , our community and beyond. We are part of the worldwide church of Jesus and are all called to the same mission.
And then, by understanding and accepting the work of Jesus on the cross and bridging the gaps with His love and message of hope, forgiveness and new life, we grow! We find purpose, meaning, direction and abundant life by following Jesus and daring to trust Him. As we walk with Christ we grow to become more and more like Him. Hopefully we are growing to maturity and as Paul wrote, "leaving childish ways behind."
No, there will be no new secrets in 2019. We won't be changing up our message. It will still be all about Jesus and his work on the cross. It will still be all about the gift of Grace and the abundant life that comes through following Christ. We will still focus on trying to do all we can to worship Him and become more like Him. Growth is a process that takes a lifetime. By gathering and studying the scriptures together, joining together and praying with and for one another, we grow to be more like Jesus. And, that's the goal.
And ... if you're an advance planner and want to be ready for 2020? Get ready! It's going to be awesome and IT'S GOING TO BE THE SAME THING. When we move past Jesus and the work of the cross we move away from the gospel. I pray we never do that.
Sunday morning we begin a series titled "Exponential." God works in exponential ways. Plant a seed, pick a harvest. It takes awhile to arrive but the harvest is always way beyond what we thought was possible if we will wait, tend the seed, and be faithful during the wait.
I hope you'll join us. Guess what, we're going to talk about and worshiping Jesus and following Him closely.
Happy New Year!
SHOUT OUT TO OUR MUSIC TEAM!
Thanks for serving us week-in and week-out. You've got a tough job but in 2018 you led us in some favorite choruses, some classic hymns and taught us new worship songs including:
1. God You're so good
2. Do it again
3. O come to the altar
6. Same power
7. Your Love awakens me