Touché July 8, 2016
Posted on July 8, 2016 by under Touché,

 

Homegrown Heroes

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27, 28)

It is painful to wake up and hear the news each morning. The despair over the condition of God’s fallen world hurts. We are so divided that prayers for peace and understanding seem too miraculous for our troubled times to welcome.

What makes this tougher is division in the church that is just as painful and discouraging. Battles wage between views of scripture, perspectives on social and political issues, and divisions both between and within denominations. We pray for peace and understanding, yet it seems too big a miracle for Christ’s troubled Church.

The apostle Paul pleads with the Galatians to recognize that what unites us is not our views or positions, but our baptism into Christ. Those historical and intractable positions in the early church were overcome through a focus on Christ. If we could get back to that focus I believe there is hope for peace and understanding.

Next Sunday we will celebrate the baptisms for four adults in the creek, while this Sunday we will welcome some homegrown heroes into our sanctuary and celebrate their ministries. Two of them come from different expressions of the Christian faith, and one was raised in our youth group. It will be a day to celebrate the unity of faith in Christ, to try to get back to the position of the early church.

Our preacher will be Kevin Frohlich, homegrown in that he married Rich and Faye Lotze’s daughter, Robin. Kevin is a missionary who works in some of the world’s most unreached areas, planting churches in the Far East. He will share “signs and wonders” of God’s work in healing, raising from the dead, and seeing people brought into relationship with Christ. His stories differ from many that Hopewell hears, and that will be good.

We have been praying for Ray LeGrand, Jr. as he has battled cancer. He and his wife, Patty, are homegrown in that his parents worship at HRC. We will support them as they head to Germany, a different mission field from the Far East, but also challenging as secularism has taken over the country of Martin Luther.  Ray is a heavy metal rocker and his ministry will serve in that way—again not a style typical of Hopewell, but a celebration of unity in one Lord.

We also welcome back a homegrown hero, Rachel Snider, who has completed her ministry in the Dominican Republic and returned to the States. She will pray a prayer of blessing for our team headed to the DR.

In a world divided and a church divided, I remain thankful that Hopewell stands as a place where we can celebrate a heavy metal ministry, a ministry on the front lines of faith, and the ministry that our own young people participate in. I trust that in the despair of the morning, there will be a vision of hope that comes on Sunday.

In Christ,

Taylor