Dear Fellow Believers:
very year the Week of Prayer provides the occasion for the world church to come together to praise God, to listen to His Word, and to pray. Let us not forget this last element: prayer. As I write to you, there is great anxiety in the world. People seem to be disoriented. Pray for the human family that it may find true hope and peace in Jesus, and pray for the church that it may become, through the power of the Spirit, a more efficient instrument of God in sharing the Christian hope. God has not abandoned us. He still holds in His powerful hands not only your personal future but also the future of His remnant church.
We have the privilege of being involved with our Lord in a mission of hope. This mission is not the result of human creativity but the work of God, who out of love Himself embarked on a mission of hope and salvation for the fallen human race. Love is the fuel of mission. Any other motivation for mission diminishes the value of the mission itself and impoverishes our spiritual lives. Mission was conceived within God in the womb of His eternal love. We see that mission in human form in the person of God’s Son. He is our model for mission. His mission is our mission.
Our church is a movement of hope with a mission of hope to the human race. Its mission is graphically depicted in Revelation 14:6-12—the three angels’ messages. The messages of the three angels are to go everywhere in order to bring hope to a world in search of ultimate hope. Human hopes are false images of the divine hope and consequently are not reliable. It is our mission to move across the surface of the planet, planting the seed of true hope in the human hearts. Each one of us is represented by those angels flying in midair. Christ has made room for us to participate with Him in the consummation of His mission to the world. Our lives find fulfillment and meaning in being part of this wonderful divine mission. Therefore be part of it, get involved in it, and let that mission of hope enrich your life.
The readings for this week are not doctrinal expositions; they are sermons that seek to describe our mission, strengthen our faith, and motivate us to be part of that mission. Once again, pray for the world church as it fulfills the mission of hope entrusted to it by our glorified Lord. Church members like you are involved in this mission around the world, at times under difficult circumstances. Pray for them that their faith may be strengthened and their work be fruitful to the glory of the Lord.
May the grace of our Lord be always with you.
Yours in our loving Lord,
Jan Paulsen is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.