What a bold vision, to say we want to bring hope to the world. It is a bold vision, but it isn't our vision. It’s God's mission. So many are hurting, broken, and trying to find meaning in promotions, relationships, and life. Today we see God's design for bringing Hope to this world—real Hope that gives life and meaning to our lives. The world is a big place, but it is also as small as our relationships, neighborhoods, workplaces, and community involvement. Today we will learn of God's vision for our own little world.
God’s vision for us is that we grow in the grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He gives us his Word and sacrament to accomplish his vision. Those things come to us in all sorts of ways but most often through each other. In short, we need each other to grow. Some of our togetherness happens here. Much of it happens in families. Today, get a glimpse of what God sees as the future for your family. Let it inspire you to adore him, trust him, and shape your families’ life around him.
Welcome to church. Or, more accurately, welcome to the place where the church gathers. You see, in the Bible, the word church is never used for a building. It’s used to describe those whom God has called out of darkness into his wonderful light. Those people want to get together and, unless you have the largest living room I’ve ever seen, that’s why we need this building, too. We’re glad you’re with us today to let God teach us his vision for us: church.
Ask people, "What is the church here to do?" and imagine the variety of answers you’d hear. Their answers would vary as much as answers to the question, "What's your favorite song?" St. Andrew doesn't answer the second one, but we have to answer the first one—not just because it helps us pull in the same direction, but because Jesus gives us his answer. You could call it hope, because we all need hope for our future. On Sundays in May, we'll be asking the Spirit to paint for us God's vision for our future. We’re glad you’re with us and ask the Spirit to bless you through the gospel of Jesus you encounter today.