Good morning, Hope folks!
Every once in a while, in ways that we can’t predict, plan or control, God does something extraordinary at Hope.
This past weekend, more than 400 people answered the Holy Spirit’s call to be baptized at Hope - over 100 of those had never been baptized, and the rest came forward to affirm their baptisms as a public declaration of their renewed faith in Jesus Christ. Another 100 or so were baptized at our other campuses in Johnston-Grimes, Des Moines, Waukee and Ankeny.
It’s rare for a Lutheran church to witness 100 or more adult baptisms in one year, much less oneweekend. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not boasting about what we did at Hope, but about what the Lord did at Hope … a biblical thing to do (2 Corinthians 10:17) … and worthy of our recognition and celebration!
Many who came forward had stories to tell. Stories of repentance (Mark 1: 4, 15) and radical transformation that point to a God who is active and alive in our world … stories of God’s grace and mercy experienced … stories of newly discovered peace and hope. Smiles and tears of joy were the norm, and God’s presence was strong.
Basking in the glow of what God has already done, we look forward to whatever happens next, led by God’s Spirit, as we continue our year-long journey through the Gospels. This weekend at Hope, our Meet Jesus sermon series moves onward to the Gospel of Luke. Pastor Jeremy and I will draw your attention to the fascinating story of Jesus as a 12-year old boy teaching in the Jerusalem Temple (Luke 2:41-52). It’s going to be another great weekend at Hope … bring a Bible and a few friends who don’t have a church home!
Preacher with a Still Semi-Soaked Baptizing Hand
P.S.- Don’t forget about some of the great upcoming big events at Hope (click for more info): Fulfill Your Ministry women’s conference,Daddy-Daughter Dance, Souper Bowl Food Drive& Big Daddy Weave concert! Plus, in addition to all of the other classes at Hope that will enhance your faith, I encourage you to check out Group Launch, and the weekly Pastor’s Bible Study, most often led by “Professor” Richard, on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.