I live with hope
Our rescue is on the way. Jesus is coming and his return signals the end of pain, injustice, suffering, and all the ways we have squandered what we were meant to be. No more broken families, no more violence, no more illness, no more hate, no more guilt and shame, no more fear, no more isolation, no more addictions, no more trauma, no more death. The groaning of creation will cease and the whole of creation will celebrate in its restoration to God’s original intention. As a redeemed people, we will reign with God forever. Our days will be full as we revel in the glory of the one, eternal God, who is three persons in one essence—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I am my people’s past
Out of love, this God created the heavens and the earth from nothing and proclaimed it good. Every bird in the air and every fish in the sea exhibits divine imagination. Even before the foundation of the earth, God chose us. God, our Father and sovereign Lord, loved us before we took our first breath. Our days were meant to be in full communion with our Creator. One can barely imagine the wholeness of person when humanity was first formed in God’s image.
Exploiting the gift of free will, the first man and the first woman turned away from God and folded to Satan’s temptation. Their rebellion provoked God’s justifiable anger upon humanity. The curse of sin has gripped every generation following and our inward depravity has corrupted our very nature ever since. We cannot fully grasp how far our sin alienates us from God and from one another. We ignore injustice when it is inconvenient for us; we seek after creature comforts and nurture habits that break our relationships with the ones who matter to us most; we are apathetic toward social evils and deny responsibility for interventions we are called to. Far too often, we ask “What’s in it for me?”
Jesus, the Son of God, fully human and fully divine, came in the fullest expression of humility. Born without documents, to unwed teenagers, he lived a sinless life and showed us God’s character through his ministry to the sick, ostracized, poor, and lonely.
In God’s greatest act of love, he sent Jesus Christ to die for us on the cross and through his death atoned for our sins. Salvation comes solely by God’s grace and mercy. Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection mark victory over sin and death and the promise of eternal life and the new creation to come.
I live with purpose
God has called the church to participate in his rescue mission by proclaiming the gospel, making new disciples, and baptizing them into the body of Christ. The Church has many expressions but is one, holy body in union with Christ and one another, the priesthood of all believers. Both the Holy Spirit and the Word of God equip each one of us uniquely for the task at hand.
The Holy Spirit illuminates the Bible for us and moves us to apply its teachings to our faith and life. Inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by human hands, the Bible is the trustworthy, sufficient, and authoritative word of God for all of us.
The community of faith worships God through the preaching and teaching of the Word and in the celebration of the sacraments through the waters of baptism and at the table of the Lord’s Supper. In baptism, we are adopted into the family of God and proclaim new life in Christ. As a covenant community, we share in the Lord’s Supper and celebrate the work of Christ and the promise of the gospel. When we drink of the cup and eat of the bread, we experience Christ’s presence, and Jesus administers grace to us by means of his life-giving Spirit. These sacraments are tangible signs and seals which mark us as united with Christ and with one another.
I continue to look forward with hope to the full realization of the Kingdom of God. Until that day comes, I follow the way of Jesus, look for movements of the Spirit, share the gospel in word and action, and love God with my entire being.