Dear Hope Family,
I have no idea where or how I came across a fairly unassuming but always eerily relevant observation from fellow minister Ray Ortlund. But its simple truth and pointed candor have stuck with me for a long time. He cautions (or confesses?), “A church can become crowded with legitimate causes, concerns, and needs. And it can be hard to find Jesus.”
Hope Church has grown a good bit in the past year. We have weathered some once-in-a-lifetime changes and are currently navigating some new rhythms of gathering, worshiping, learning, and serving. All very hopeful and encouraging, but, to be sure, we are awash in legitimate causes, concerns, and needs. Growth and change always seem to bring them to the surface. While legitimate, they can crowd out Jesus and sideline his redemptive presence and power – often without much of a notice from us, which is sad in itself for a host of reasons.
My prayer is that by attending to the person and work of Jesus Christ, as he is unveiled to us in the pages of Revelation, we can find him in the midst of the crowd of needs, the flurry of concerns, and the crush of causes.
My comfort, and I sincerely pray that it is your comfort, too, is another simple truth from theologian Dale Bruner, “The work of the Holy Spirit is the honoring of Jesus Christ . . . the work of the Holy Spirit is simply to thrill us with Christ.”
The wonderful news of the Gospel is that Jesus is actively working to thrill us with who he is! In the crowded corridors of our lives, Jesus desires and labors to keep our gaze.
Even so. Amen!
This Sunday, and everyday, Spirit of the Living God, thrill us with Jesus.
Grace and peace,