Dear Hope Family,
On the morning of December 24, I posted this on my Facebook wall before we started our run of six Christmas Eve Candlelight services, and I share it with you again today in a humble effort to bring some perspective to what just happened at Hope…
Look closer at the crowds on Christmas Eve, and you’ll discover God at work – using a song, a word, a light – to awaken one sleeper, to find one wanderer, to comfort one mourner, to stir one soul, to fill one heart … God is certainly not dead, nor is his church. Come and see!
Well, they came and saw (because you invited them – thank you)! Our Christmas (Eve & Day) celebrations at Hope were glorious! The Spirit was strong, the music and movement of the service was beautiful, and God’s house was full. Over 29,000 people attended at our West Des Moines campus, and counting all of Hope’s satellites, that number goes even higher. Several hundred joy-filled volunteers helped in so many essential ways – thank you, again!
The world around us longs for the light. We have received this light, and our all-out effort to let it shine through us to as many people as possible is a worthy endeavor. It’s no accident that God has brought us together to be church together in this particular time and place. As we wrap up this year of Roots & Renewal and look forward to a new year of getting Back to Basics (know Jesus & know one another), I’m more committed and enthused than ever to carry out our mission … it’s good to be the church!
This weekend, our Light the Night theme from Christmas Eve carries on. A trio of gifted preachers who’ve been preparing diligently for several weeks – Perry Ross, Dave Johnson and Ben Mason – will help us take a closer look at the shining star the Magi (more commonly referred to as wise men) followed on their way to worship the newborn King of all kings, Jesus Christ (Matthew 2:1-12). It would be wise for us to attend (couldn’t resist the pun)!