First, a note to all our MemberPartners,
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
– Charles Dickens
These are indeed extraordinary times. Between the pandemic and loss, injustice and ensuing protests, our nation is grieving. But the question remains: how will we make the most of this time now, and prepare for the future?
The life and work of the body of Christ, and therefore the important task of calling, mentoring and training disciples — the purpose of the Catch Ministry — must continue.
While the COVID-19 crisis necessitated the temporary closing of many businesses, we here at the Catch Ministry are having great difficulty keeping up with the increased demand for counseling and the needs of our people. Thanks to the efforts of our wonderful volunteers, we remain committed to encouraging, praying for and mentoring our Catch Citizens, collectively and individually.
We hope you will forgive us for our inability to complete our MemberPartner It’s Friday Newsletters over the last 2 weeks. Our Prayer Warriors keep praying and our counselors keep counseling, so keep praying for us as we pray for you — for safety, hope and a positive attitude of grace turned outward to all amidst this time of upheaval and great uncertainty.
All of us thank you in advance for understanding there is just so much we as a team can do with what is at hand. It is our sincerest hope to provide “It’s Friday” next weekend.
On behalf of all who are working to further Grace Turned Outward,
John and Marti
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called … Ephesians 4:4
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people … Ephesians 1:18
Looking for hope in a hopeless world
Trying to find love in these hateful times
Try to stay strong but my mind is weak
Looking for hope in a hopeless world
– Widespread Panic
We are currently looking into the great spiritual inheritance we have in the church — the body of Christ. Not the building on the corner, but the living, organic union of believers that exists whenever two or more of us gather together in Christ’s name in a home, or a building, or a park, or on Facebook live or Zoom. So far we’ve found out that our unity is a very big deal. We’ve found that there is one body (of Christ), one Spirit that lives in us all and now we hear about one hope that is associated with our calling — our being chosen by God.
In casual conversation, the word hope is generally used to mean wish. I hope such and such will happen. I hope there will be some baseball this season. I hope I don’t get the virus. I hope tomorrow is a sunny day. This biblical hope is different. It is not a wish; it is a true reality I know in my heart. This hope is a possession. It is solid.
Of all the things we have talked about so far in relation to our inheritance in the body of Christ, there is probably nothing more relevant to today’s circumstances than hope. With so much uncertainty and hopelessness around us, real hope takes on huge significance. Hope is a guarantee. No matter what happens to you and me in this world, we have certainty. We have salvation; we have life eternal; we have a home in heaven (call it homeland security); we have love; we have meaning and a purpose for this life and the next; we have a place being prepared for us. Our hope can triumph over anything thrown in its way.
And here’s something else about this hope: it is one hope. We share this hope in common. I have the same hope you have. Therefore, we can encourage each other with this hope. We can remind each other. We can write about it, sing about it, speak about it — mostly, we can simply have it, so that those who have no hope will run to us and not away from us.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15