ith a strong focus on the hope that inherently comes from a relationship with God, General Conference President Jan Paulsen recorded greetings for the season for the nearly 16 million church members worldwide.
Acknowledging the past year's "fires, storms, earthquakes, and accidents," Paulsen reminded church members that "true hope is anchored in something solid and secure--in the sureness of Christ's victory over death, and in His pledge to return and 'make all things new.'"
Paulsen, during his message "The Power & Healing of Hope," Paulsen expressed wishes that everyone would "experience the peace, love, and hope of our Lord, Jesus Christ." He also specifically prayed for hope in some of the world's most conflict-prone areas, such as "the people of the Darfur region in Sudan; those caught in the turmoil and violence of Iraq and Afghanistan; the many millions of people in many parts of the world who live each day in fear and poverty, and who struggle for the basics of survival."
Paulsen also spoke of the hope the Christmas season brings -- a time when many Christians celebrate Christ's birth and life.
He said sharing this hope was part of the Christian's responsibility. The hope that Jesus gives each Christian is "a hope that always looks outward; and always looks through eyes of compassion," Paulsen said. "We are His agents of hope -- it's reflected in the choices we make and in the ways that we demonstrate the presence of God in our everyday lives."
Paulsen concluded his message by noting "Some things are well left behind as we with hope go into a new year." He recommended that everyone "extend and seek forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing."
The message can be viewed on the church's Hope Channel