"...by the mercy of God we have been born anew to living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, and kept in heaven for us who by the power of God through our faith are guarded for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last days. In this we rejoice, though now for a little while we may have to suffer various trials so that the genuineness of our faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to glory and honor and praise at the coming of our Lord Jesus" (1 Peter 1:3-6;emphasis added)
Wow! That's quite a statement. I used to be preoccupied with the phrase "tested by fire," and often told people I'm really not into the refining fire idea, wishing Father God would have another process for growing in spiritual maturity. But I've discovered that what Father really wants to do is encourage us to not become distracted by the struggles of like. Rather, He longs for us to focus on His promises of a "living hope" (a reminder that believers in Jesus will live eternally) and that what we will "inherit" in eternity is pure, holy, unchanging, and unable to be destroyed. Amazing to think about, isn't it? Therefore, regardless of our circumstances, we who are disciples of Jesus Christ should be able to rejoice, not about our circumstances, but regardless what our circumstances may be.
That's an important reminder for individuals, for families, and for "church families" like ours at Host Church. We have a lengthy and rich history. For two hundred and eighty-eight years the Holy Spirit has been moving among them members of our "church family" and working through us toward the fulfillment of His purpose for us in His overall scheme for the salvation of the world. But though we've been at our task for a long time, Father's work in this world isn't yet complete. Se we here at Host Church are taking a close look at ourselves, refocusing on Jesus and the assignments He has for us, assessing our resources, and preparing for an exiting season of ministry as a new liturgical year is about to unfold before us.
As the new interim pastor at Host Church I consider it a privilege to have been "called" by God to serve among the wonderful member of this vibrant "church family"
whose member love Jesus, enjoy worshiping Him, want to grow in our understanding of His Word and our relationships with Him, and who desire to serve our
selfless Savior faithfully.
"Church families" never finish growing, and Host Church is no exception. So we're praying that the Holy Spirit will bring to us the people He's already chosen who
have similar spiritual wants and desires and whose talents and abilities will contribute to our being able to be the servant church God intends us to be. If you don't currently
have a "church family," perhaps Father wants you to come to Host Church. Pray about it! We'll be looking forward to meeting you.
Rev. Stephen E. Hollinger,