What often looks impossible today in the realms of technology, travel, power generation, medicine, and even church, often becomes common-place tomorrow. But it takes those who are prepared to dream and dare — despite their critics. I’m looking for people who are prepared to dream and dare with me. Our city of Launceston has many fine churches but it is yet to see what the God of the Impossible can do with a church that is prepared to dream and dare. When I read the closing book of the Bible I am captivated by the ‘dream’ of God to see people redeemed from every tribe, nation, and tongue that will eventually comprise a number so vast that no-one could possibly count them! (Rev. 7:9). This is God’s grand dare for the Church and I’m in on the dare! Perhaps we too could dream of a church made up of people from an many nations, tribes, and languages as possible! Perhaps we could dare to dream of a church so significant that hundreds come each Sunday just to find out for themselves what God is doing! And when the day comes — and the day will come — that such a church exists in our city of Launceston, Tasmania, we will remember that there many who said “It couldn’t be done!”
It’s only in the last few years that we have felt the Lord lead us to adopt a theme for the year. Last year, before many of us went into lockdown in our homes, we had felt the Lord put on our hearts the theme, Welcome home. This year, we have felt the Lord lead us to focus on the theme, grow. The word grow conjures up different emotions in me. There was a time, quite early in my pastoral ministry, when it was recommended to me that I engage a ministry coach. It was my desire to do all I could to see our little church at Legana grow. The ministry coach agreed that this should be my focus. It just so happened that at this time I was in the throes of my doctoral studies.
Whenever I prepare a couple for their marriage, I stress several critical things that will help them build a happily-ever-after-marriage. The first thing I stress is that our preparation is going to focus on their life together—their marriage—rather than focusing on their wedding. The second thing I stress is that for them to have a happily-ever-after-marriage they need to learn how to love. Interestingly, what many couples come to realise is that these principles don’t just help improve their relationship—it also helps to improve their other relationships as well. I hope you’ll join me in prayer and pray that as we work together on Sunday to worship Jesus that they will indeed see Him who loves them and want to forgive them and become their heavenly father. I pray that we can love like Jesus. As we consider the fifteen greatest description of love ever given, I pray that it will challenge each of us to ask God for the help we need to love Him and to love others.