Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. The Gospel According to Matthew 6:10
Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. The Gospel According to Luke 7:21-22
- The blind received sight: William Yoo’s book What Kind of Christianity: A History of Slavery and Anti-Black Racism in the Presbyterian Church was published in August. The first step of turning from sin and towards God is seeing the truth about ourselves and Yoo’s book tells the truth of our history as Presbyterians. (The truth will set us free, but first it will make us miserable. That’s okay.) And for the second year, anti-racism training was required for all clergy and other leaders in our Presbytery.
- The lame walked: One of our churches purchased new shoes in December for the children in their rural county. This was the 35th year of this project and they collected enough donations to buy 700 pairs of shoes this month.
- The lepers were cleansed: Ten of our congregations have showers and/or laundry facilities available for homeless neighbors.
- The deaf heard: Technology grants were provided throughout our Presbytery to improve sound systems and the quality of online worship services.
- The dead were raised: One of our churches made the faithful decision to close in June and the Presbytery invited a team to work with Give Impact to discern how this property could best be used to address needs in the community in the name of Jesus Christ. The team includes members of neighboring congregations, a member of the closed congregation, and several neighbors who aren’t affiliated with any church – all of whom love the community and want to resurrect that corner of Charlotte, NC. (A final decision will be made in 2023 by our Presbytery.)
- The dead were raised: One of our pastors received a double lung transplant in 2022 and the very fact that this surgery is possible is a testimony to resurrection on earth. We thank God for the donor’s family, for the miracle of successful transplant surgery, and for this pastor’s new life.
- Good news was shared with the poor: From pastoral care to strangers to inspirational sermons, from sharing money, water, food, housing to inviting neighbors to share what they have, from connecting over coffee to holding each other in prayer there was Good News shared with those who’ve experience every kind of poverty in 2022.
The examples of resurrection are countless. The mistakes were numerous. The grace was immeasurable. Thanking God for the past year.