A multitude of stories are held in 100 years; the mountaintops we have celebrated and the challenges we have grown through. Looking back, it is both our responsibility to celebrate how far we have come as a family of God, and to continue to expand our tent pegs (Isaiah 54:2), preparing for and dreaming about everything the next 100 years will hold!
We have each contributed to these last 100 years. Take a moment to reflect: Where has God brought you from? What have been your mountaintops? Even beyond your own story: How have you pursued the call to “go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20)?
I am drawn to Jesus’ Parable of the Great Feast (Luke 14:15-24) in which Jesus uses the metaphor of a feast to teach us about God’s Kingdom. This story reminds me of the incredible truth that there is always more room at God’s banquet table for others. As I placed myself into the story as the servant, inviting strangers into God’s banquet, I found that I was patting myself on the back as I reminisced about the times I have done just that. While these experiences warrant celebration, I paused to examine my heart and recognized the times I have become too familiar with Christ, unaware of His call to “Come!”
I found myself asking: How many times have I been the one with poor excuses to not follow the call of God, whether it be in a big decision or simply a moment of obedience? Our excuses today may not look like those of this story: buying land to look over, trying out oxen, being newly married. But today these can easily parallel to looking over that last work project, trying out that new upgrade, or beginning a new season of life. While each of these is not inherently bad, God has gifted these opportunities to us to further His Kingdom.
At the turn of this 100-year celebration, I propose that we shift our perspective. Participating in God’s Kingdom and gathering as a community of believers should never feel like an obligation or an empty ritual. We get to do this and to respond to this awesome invitation to come to His celebration, full of joy, so that we may live out His last words on this earth, that “[we] will be [His] witnesses” to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:7-8).
God has not called us to eulogize our history, but to stand on its foundation as we look to the bright future ahead.
Do we gather for a funeral or for a feast? Do we see the best behind us or do we celebrate the monumental things He has done, expectantly embracing the future, anticipating that it will be as bright as ever?
Truly, the best is yet to come!
Carrie-Anne Bauer recently graduated from a Global Studies and Sustainable Business Management program. She has been involved in varying leadership capacities at Slate Church, a thriving church plant in Waterloo, Ontario. Carrie-Anne loves investing in the lives of those around her, and seeing others reach their potential.