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Encouragement

A Year of Hope

“A mission shaped church has a hope shaped mission.”—N.T. Wright

What Impact Does Hope Have On the Mission of the Church?

It might be as simple as chicken noodle soup…

You know, the good ‘ol remedy for when you are feeling under the weather. Nothing else is appealing when you don’t have much of an appetite.

Hope can be the same! It’s a simple comfort when the world seems dark and circumstances overwhelm.

“Jesus gave them another parable: There once was a woman who had ten valuable silver coins. When she lost one of them, she swept her entire house, diligently searching every nook and cranny for that one lost coin. When she finally found it, she gathered all her friends and neighbours for a celebration, telling them, ‘Come and celebrate with me! I had lost my precious silver coin, but now I’ve found it.’ That’s the way God responds every time one lost sinner repents and turns to Him. He says to all his angels, ‘Let’s have a joyous celebration, for the one who was lost, I have found!'”

Luke 15:8-10 TPT

There’s a whole lot of celebration going on in Luke 15—it’s said that each coin was the equivalent of a full day’s wage. The coin’s value was just that, it didn’t lose its value because it was lost. Isn’t that a beautiful (easily overlooked) truth!

But this chapter in the Bible also has another easily overlooked truth…

There are three parables in Luke 15—The Lost Sheep (1 of 100), The Lost Coin (1 of 10), and The Lost Son (1 of 2)—you see it don’t you? Each soul is extremely valuable.*

Having had a salvation experience—you know the extraordinary value that Jesus places on every soul. This is the hope we carry!

A “hope-shaped mission” is a Luke 15 mission—lost to found!

…there will be a glorious celebration in heaven over the rescue of one lost sinner who repents, comes back home, and returns to the fold… (vs. 7)

…Let’s have a joyous celebration, for the one who was lost, I have found… (vs. 10)

…It’s only right to rejoice and celebrate like this, because your brother was once dead and gone, but now he is alive and back with us again. He was lost, but now he is found… (vs. 32)

Luke 15 celebration moments are to be common—like chicken noodle soup is when you are sick. So, what impact does hope have on the mission of the Church?

Two of the three parables necessitated an all-out search for what was lost, but the last parable…

The Father’s heart was on display—longing and looking (…hope…) for his son to return. Let’s not just look for something we lost but, hunger for the lost soul so they can be found—alone to belong, valuable even when lost, significant, and always loved!

So the church becomes what love and hope look like in a lost and broken world…


*Side note: you can feel lonely and lost in a crowd (1 of 100), lonely and lost where you are needed (1 of 10) and lonely and lost in your family (1 of 2)—but don’t think for a moment that Jesus isn’t looking for you!

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