Farewell to 2020!

“Hooray – we’ve nearly made it to the end of 2020!” I’ve heard and felt this sentiment quite a lot as this crazy year comes to a close. While I imagine many of us could find some things to be thankful for this year (at least if we really dig down through the many happenings of the year), I think it’s safe to say that no one expected the whirlwind of 2020! And now that we’re at the end of the year, I’ve been wondering about the hope we’re placing on it ending.

Will everything magically be okay once we shout out, “Happy New Year”?

Will the pandemic instantly cease, racial and political tensions ease, and the comforts we’d like to rely on be readily available to us, just as we want them to be?

Unlikely.

We’re not going to be able to wash all this away by the hours and minutes changing on the clock. But one thing I do know, and what I am learning to trust in more and more, is that one day all these hard things will be washed away. One day, peace will come. No more sickness. No more tension. Only perfection. How do I know this? Because Jesus promises it (and I am learning more and more that Jesus always keeps His promises!):

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away … And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

-Revelation 21:1a, 3-5

So as we gear toward the end of the year, celebrate what you can, and mourn what ought to be mourned. But never lose sight of the hope for those who trust in Jesus – one day, all will be made new. Everyone will be well. Everyone will get along. All will be perfect. Let’s encourage each other to live in light of that glorious day, through the start of 2021 and onward, for the rest of our lives! In any sickness, in any relational tension, in any and every circumstance we can have hope, because of our Saviour who gave us hope – by coming to earth as a helpless infant, growing up to die to take our sins on himself, and rising again to new life: real, everlasting, full life that is promised to all who realise that their wrongs need forgiving, and that God is the only one who can do that (and He is so, so willing!)

Real hope, forever.

PEACE IN A PANDEMIC // PSALM 73

A one off message speaking to the issue of our anxieties in the COVID-19 pandemic

Passage: Psalm 73

Speaker: John Cook

The world is in tumult. In many ways it’s a different world to the one we lived in last week, and it’s likely to keep changing. The things people looked to for security are falling away rapidly: money, health, government and so on, all are failing to keep us safe and to provide us with security. But amidst the turmoil, Jesus calls to us. Among the waves of this storm we find an astounding peace on offer: “I am continually with you; you hold my right hand”

VISION SERIES 2020 // THE MISSION part 2

The final part of our 3 part vision series, Vision – The Gospel Leads Us on in Faith

Passage: Acts (quite a lot of it really)

Speaker: John Cook

Our vision is to see the good news of Jesus go out to all peoples in the country with transforming power for the glory of God and the joy of all who will come to believe. Locally, we seek to achieve that by making/being disciples of Jesus, and by multiplying communities of disciples of Jesus on mission together (we call those Gospel Communities!). But the mission doesn’t end here, by merit of being a Church we are drawn into the age-long work of seeking to plant more Churches. Specifically, we seek to plant Gospel Churches in country areas.

VISION SERIES 2020 // THE MISSION part 1

Part 2 of our 3 part vision series, Vision – The Gospel Leads Us on in Faith

Passage: various passages

Speaker: John Cook

Our vision is to see the good news of Jesus go out to all peoples in the country with transforming power for the glory of God and the joy of all who will come to believe. But how does that work out in our local area and through this local Church? By the multiplying of disciples of Jesus, by the multiplying of Gospel Communities where disciples grow in authentic community on the mission, and by planting more Gospel Churches.

VISION SERIES 2020 // GOD’S VISION

Part 1 of our 3 part vision series, Vision – The Gospel Leads Us on in Faith

Passage: Genesis 1:26-28; 2 Corinthians 3:18-4:6; various other passages

Speaker: John Cook

We are the people of the God who has a unified vision which he has worked toward throughout all of history: the vision that his glory would be displayed, known and enjoyed throughout creation. As Gospel Church unveils our new vision statement, there is perhaps no more critical question than this: is our vision formed by the vision of God? Is our mission informed by His mission, lived out in our context?