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ALL Thursday evening activities cancelled, Feb 13. No Town Hall, Upward Open Gym or Practices.

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Finding our way in Hope...by Faith

Posted by David Staff on

The emerging beauty of these spring days—flowers blooming, trees shouting new life in fresh green—all of the wonder about us is checked by caution. Hesitancy in touching anything publicly used, vigilance in every “too close” physical encounter with someone we don’t know.

Moment by moment, especially in public but also in private, we feel vulnerable. We’re not used to this. In many cases, such isolation from one another re-stirs, even magnifies the hurt of past losses. A vanished spouse, so long a soul-mate, a dearly loved friend. Even the brilliant beauty of spring cannot eclipse the sequestered suffering of the heart.

I spoke with someone recently in just that spot. We spent important, tender minutes on the phone. A flood of sharing, then long seconds of silence. COVID19 pressure, a beloved mate gone, not even a busy work schedule fills the aching hole. Does anything make all of this worth it?

By God’s grace, we realized afresh that without the victory obtained and offered in Jesus Christ, there is no satisfying answer to such a question. Christ alone—the Lord Jesus Christ alone—is our hope.

How critical it is to be reminded that our present experience is not the life for which we are destined. We rehearsed our hope in Christ over the phone. “In the life to come, we will be more alive then than we are now. We haven’t begun to fully experience life. No way. It’s coming, and when it comes in all of its wondrous glory, this life will be almost as nothing.”

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man ALL that God has prepared for those who love Him.

To be reminded that this present life is not the life for which we are destined. We rehearsed our hope over the phone.

May I encourage you to not be afraid. Refuse despair. Share the incredible hope we have in Christ. Four of my grandchildren in Texas are searching with their parents, Janelle and Cameron, for a new house in which to live. Today, I wrote them four letters—one to each—hoping to connect the dots between looking for a temporary home here, and truly looking forward to our permanent home…there! “Alice,” I wrote, “read about it in Revelation 21:1-4.” “Avery,” I urged, “Listen to Jesus in John 14:1-3. He’s preparing something VERY wonderful.”

In Christ, we live with hope, and we walk by faith. We refuse to give in. Our Father is good. Our Savior is solid. The Spirit is inside. The future will be unimaginably wonderful.

YOUR PRAYERS ARE VITAL AS WE PLAN AHEAD

Both the Staff Team and our broader team of leaders are seeking the Lord’s wisdom about many things during these days. A constituency-wide “call-to-connect” initiative is in the works. The potential of a safe return to worship services on the campus, in the near term, is being thoughtfully considered.

Yet beyond praying for our Christ Community family, continue to pray for those you know in the body, and even more broadly in the community. These ARE days of opportunity for loving, for extending care, and for conversations that lead to Jesus.

A PSALM FOR THESE DAYS—Psalm 57

I trust your Connect Group is still “meeting.” Our Connect Group having incredible fellowship via Zoom; there’s a greater eagerness “to connect” given the hurdles to clear and limitations to overcome.

On Monday, we considered Psalm 57, so full of encouragement and trust in the “steadfast love” and “faithfulness” of the Lord. Take 15 minutes to read and pray through that Psalm. The Spirit of God will flood your soul with a wash of blessing.

Thank you for being a faithful body of believers in prayer, in stewardship giving, and in encouragement of one another. YOU all are a TREASURE to the Lord, and to one another.

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