These past few weeks Pastor Josh has been doing a series on the church and what that means for us as followers of Christ. When most of us hear the word “church”, we think of a building, an event, or a meeting, but in reality, God meant it to be much bigger, much better than any of that. Church is a new family that is formed because of the gospel and is “intended to show what life under the glorious King Jesus looks like.” This family is very real and when we gather together on Sundays, what is actually is happening is a weekly family reunion! God did not save an individual so that he/she would then live a life apart from other believers. But instead a person is redeemed by Christ’s blood in order that he may enter into the family of God. “The ultimate purpose of God is an exalted Christ with His people”.
This Sunday we had an extended family reunion celebration. The third Sunday of every month after the regular church service, our family gathers at the Mack home for first physical meal (supper) and then a spiritual meal (communion). Living Hope’s communion service is always a special time when we remember what our Gracious Father has accomplished on our behalf through the finished work of His Son on the cross.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”
Romans 8: 15-16
We rejoice in the truth that, as the church, we are children of God and that makes us family! And…what is a family reunion without tons of photos? So here you go:
Naugle Family Update Many of you have been praying for Cooper Naugle (see this post) and what a blessing and joy to have he and his father, Paul, show up to be part of our family reunion!
Cooper’s young life is truly a testimony of God’s grace and goodness. When he and his family first arrived in South Africa one month ago, it was via Medivac from Uganda because Cooper’s life was seriously being threaten by a severe bacterial infection. He was on life support, in a medically induced coma and on dialysis. Word got out that this ten year-old’s life was in danger and the family of God from all over the world began to pray. Randy had the opportunity to visit Cooper and his parents in the hospital regularly to encourage and support them, and to let them know that they had family in South Africa. By God’s miraculous intervention, Cooper has made such medical progress that his doctors have cleared him to fly back to the U.S. and will be doing so with his father on Monday. Cooper’s mother, Carol, is in Uganda finishing the paperwork required to complete the adoption of their one-year-old twins and the family plans, Lord willing (always, Lord willing), to meet up in Heathrow for their layovers and then fly back to Pennsylvania together!! Please pray for this return trip and Cooper’s health to continue to return! Also, give praise and glory to God who loves His children and is with us and for us!