One more year has come and gone, and we will continue to hear this comment roll off of many lips this month, “I can’t believe another year has flown by!” Our lives often seem like a vapor, and looking back over one year can produce feelings of encouragement or insignificance. We wonder if our hopes and desires were fulfilled? We wonder if new hopes and dreams took seed or root? We wonder if disappointments or fears kept us from being present with God? We all have significant answers to these questions, and if we answer honestly, no matter what feelings our answers produce, we must remember that we are marked by grace and the presence of the living God. We will have thankful hearts as we learn to stand in this truth. Of the many things I’m thankful for in 2010, you are near the top. I love living in fellowship with you, the Church.
When I think of fellowship, I remember Luke’s verse from Acts 2:42: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” The Greek idea of Koinonia combines the ideas of fellowship and mission. The hope I have for 2011 is to follow Jesus and live out the mission of the Church. It isn’t clear if we look for the words “the mission of the Church” in scripture, because the Church was just being formed! However, if we look for the mission of the disciples, we will find the mission of the Church, the people of God. The Church is a missional community, and our mission is simple, much like Acts 2:42: to devote ourselves to the teaching of the scriptures, to live out that message in community toward our neighbors, to meet together often, and to pray always. As God’s people, marked by grace, we are perfectly empowered for this mission together. I’m more excited than ever to follow Jesus by loving and serving the people of our city with you this year!