Dear First Pres,
Happy New Year! I don’t know exactly what the Lord has in store for us in 2014, but I’m excited about it. Yes, there are things to be concerned about in our world, in our country, and in our community (things that we should be lifting up to the Lord in prayer and asking what He would have us do), but we can still have hope. Our hope is not based in technology or human ingenuity or happenstance; our hope is Christ. The coming of Christ, the work of Christ, and the immanent return of Christ should define the way we think about our days. So, how does your Christ-hope impact your perspective of this new year? There may be things that happen in 2014 that we absolutely dread (for good reason), but no matter what the circumstance God is faithful. God is at work. Christ has come, and is coming again. He has called us to be part of His holy nation and royal priesthood. And, His healing is at work among us at FPC Fresno. How exciting is that?!?
This Sunday we’ll be continuing our preaching series called Making Room. If you’re struggling to remain hopeful these days, for whatever reason, I pray you’ll be encouraged by the Spirit-given hope in an old man of Jerusalem named Simeon. His hope has been encouraging me in these first days of 2014.
By the way, if you missed our Christmas Eve celebration, you missed a wonderful time of worship. I was very pleased with the three service format; as we hoped, it seemed to make room for more worshippers. I am so grateful for the many people who helped to make it a fabulous night, and I’m grateful that y’all endured the change without missing a beat. Now, my prayer is that those new worshippers will come again. Would you join me in that prayer? And, be sure to make room in “your” pew when they come looking for a seat so that we might share the hope we have in Christ with them.