“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:6-8
January is a great time to take stock of where one is and look forward to the future. At Holy Cross we spent some time last fall “taking stock” of who we are and how we have been blessed. The Lord has given us many gifts:
- faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior,
- clear doctrine based on God’s Word,
- Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion,
- many hearts that are moved to care and share with others,
- a financially stable, unified congregation, and
- the gift of hospitality.
After much reflection in God’s Word, reasonable consideration and appropriate deliberation, we as a congregation settled on a new mission statement for Holy Cross: “Together in God’s Word and love, we boldly go to sow and grow God’s kingdom.”
So, now is the time to pray and ask: “What will Holy Cross look like in 2025 if we pursue this mission?”
This question assumes that the Lord will not have returned by 2025, but either way, what we do between now and Judgment Day will be revealed on that Day. The Lord gives us MANY opportunities to plant the seed of the Gospel in the hearts of those around us. The Lord gives us MANY opportunities to water those seeds through teaching God’s Word to each other, through participation in the Sacraments, through encouraging one another in acts of service and mutual consolation in God’s Word. It is really a question of where the Lord will take us between now and then, and asking Him to show us the way.
So whether we have five talents, or three talents, or one, and whether we invest them in 5, 3 or 1 ministry efforts, our mission is to do something, together, to sow and grow God’s kingdom. Let us spend January praying and asking for God’s guidance on where we’ll spend our collective efforts as this assembly of believers in Christ over the next 7 years. He promises to lead us, and He will do so.
A foundation has been laid on Jesus Christ by those who came before us. It has been entrusted to us for a time, to build upon it. According to the grace of God given to us, let us take care how we build upon it, for our work will become manifest on the Day of the Lord.
As we go through this visioning exercise together, I encourage you to join me in devotional reading of 1 and 2 Corinthians this January. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you in Christ Jesus. Amen.