April 1

Isaiah 43:16-21

“I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” vs. 19

Pessimists abound in the mainline denominations. They point to declining worship numbers, pastoral shortages and closing congregations as signs that the end of Christianity is at hand. They’re caught up in nostalgia and yearn for a return to the decades of greatness when churches were packed and congregations were prospering. Like Israel in exile they imagine that the glory years are over. The prophet had a word for the pessimists in Babylon. God wasn’t done with them…a new day was dawning and if their eyes were open they could catch a glimpse of the Way forward. Those same forces are at work now. The future is not dismal! A new Church awaits, already we can see it springing forth in the most unlikely places…and to those with eyes to see, the prospects are exhilarating! Soon and very soon we’ll be done with our obsession with numbers and the notion that Christianity is about filling pews on Sunday morning. We’ll forget about the Church Growth Movement and Entertainment Evangelism and re-embrace the dynamic message of death and resurrection that is the core of the gospel. Old creeds and doctrinal statements, all the relics of ancient Christendom, will be set aside to make room for the renewing presence of the Universal Christ. It really is a great time to be a follower of Jesus! The best is yet to come!

Thought for the Day: What signs of hope do I see in the Church?

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