This Weekend at Hope:
Here We Stand: A 10-Week Confirmation Refresher
Spread the Word
Good morning, Hope!
 
In response to the senseless violence and evil that was on full display in Las Vegas earlier this week, news that shook our nation's soul, I've written the following devotional...
 
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A large crowd gathered along the hillside that surrounds the Sea of Galilee's north shore. They came from everywhere to see Jesus, the healer. Only on this day, the healer sat on the side of the hill to preach his most famous sermon ...
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit ... those who mourn ... the meek ... those who hunger and thirst for righteousness ... the merciful ... the pure in heart ... the peacemakers ... the persecuted ... for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3-10)
 
With this shocking introduction, Jesus presented a stunning alternative - a better way - for a world that measures success by wealth, health, wins, power, popularity and fame. Turns out, we were made for more than selfish pursuits and shallow victories. We were made to love our friends, but also (another big shocker from our Lord) ...
 
Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
 
Let that soak in. Ponder it sincerely. Pray over it. Let it permeate your heart and soul, and inspire change, because love (for friends and enemies) is precisely what the world (desperately) needs. Right now. This is the revival, and it's a big one...
 
Let your light shine. (Matthew 5:16)
 
More than ten thousand people gather at Hope's campuses every weekend, with a bunch more joining us online. There are over 2.2 billion Christians on planet Earth. We are a sleeping giant. Imagine the positive change in this community, and this world, if Christians woke up from our spiritual slumber to live out our identity and call, following our Lord's lead to let our lights shine.
 
It starts with love. Not just love for our friends, and those who share our political worldview or life experience, but real and genuine love for those who see things differently.
 
Of course, our (sinful) nature prefers to hate, dismiss and demonize the opposition. Knowing this, Jesus gives us a practical (and, again, rather shocking!) next step in this same famous sermon...
 
Pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
 
Try it. Stop reading and say a prayer for the well-being of an enemy. It's not easy. Our (sinful) nature prefers to verbally destroy enemies. At first, that provides a rush, and we feel temporarily vindicated. But the after-taste of hate (even in the form of revenge) is sour, and our souls hunger for something more satisfying.
 
God provides! Prayer gives us a new view. We ask God to fix the problem ("them"), and God answers by starting somewhere else ("us"), changing our hearts to reflect his grace. The only thing strong enough to overcome darkness is light, not more darkness.
 
Please don't misunderstand. In the ridiculous debate regarding the proper Christian response to mass murder in Las Vegas - prayer (spiritual) or action (social/political/legal) - the clear biblical answer is yes! Do both, following God's lead...
 
Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)
 
The time has come for the (sleeping giant) church to wake up, realize our call and identity, and offer a Spirit-led, grace-based, counter-cultural alternative - a way better way - for a lost world desperately seeking direction.
 
This is how revival happens. It starts with a healer sitting on a hillside, telling the world there's more to life than this, reminding us who we are, and inspiring us to live it out. If we answer our Savior's call, it will change us ... and the world around us, for the better, light by light, until the darkness fades.
 
Let your light shine, Hope!
 
Peace,
Mike Housholder
 
PS- This weekend at Hope, our Here We Stand sermon series continues, celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation (a huge revival that continues to bless the world in multiple ways)! We will preach on the blessing and gift of the Bible (if it's in the Bible, it's Lutheran!), and what happens when millions of people suddenly get access to it, for the first time! It's a cool story, and it has everything to do with us! Bring a Bible (or we'll give a free one) and your friends! Come and see!




Hope Leadership Conference
Oct. 11-13

We believe strong Christian leaders are essential to the positive growth of teams, churches, organizations, communities... and the world! Launched in 2015, the Hope Leadership Conference is an inspiring and transformational experience, aimed at building servant leaders in the church. Hosted annually by Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, IA, the conference keynote speakers have ranged from pastors, bishops, religious scholars, international missionaries, political figures, CEOs, coaches, and more.

1Church Gathering
Tuesdays, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 & Dec. 12, 6:00-8:30 pm

Join us for worship and conversation! The goal is simple and important: to build Christ-centered bridges of trust between people of different races and ethnic backgrounds in our community. We are the church, called to action and called to love and serve our community. Please plan to attend all three gatherings.

Mom & Son Tailgate
Saturday, Oct. 14, 10:00 am - noon

Moms and sons (age 3 - grade 5) are invited to join us for a day of tailgating with food, outdoor games, crafts, photo opportunities and more!

Ordination of Pastor Amanda Neppl
Sunday, Oct. 15, 2:00 pm

Join us for the ordination of Amanda Neppl into the ministry of Word and sacrament! Pastor Amanda will join Hope's team of teaching pastors, spending her time at the West Des Moines campus as the Women's Ministry director. A reception will follow in The Bridge.
Trunk 'n' Treat
Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:00-4:00 pm

Get your little ones dressed in their friendly Halloween costumes and experience the fun of fall with our annual Trunk 'n' Treat! Children in grade 6 and under are invited to trick-or-treat in the Hope WDM parking lot in a safe, free and family-friendly environment. Photo opportunities will add to the fun, too!

YOUTH & FAMILY MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES

for children
age 3 - grade 5
for children
grades 1-5
for students entering
grades 6-8
for students entering
grades 9-12

STAY CONNECTED WITH US:
 

ONE CHURCH. MULTIPLE LOCATIONS.
Lutheran Church of Hope |515.222.1520 | hope@hopewdm.org | hopewdm.org