Greater Portland Bible Church met as a congregation for the first time on December 4, 1977. In last week’s blog, Joyce Wachsmuth let you know that we are planning a celebration of our 40th anniversary on Sunday December 3, 2017. Luis Palau, who played a significant role in encouraging the birth of our church, and many of those who helped to shape who we are today, our former leaders, will be celebrating with us. You will be receiving more information about that celebration Sunday in the near future.
Throughout the Bible, on many occasions, the Lord told his people to remember what he had done for them in the past: how he had powerfully rescued them from slavery in Egypt; how he had repeatedly protected them and provided for them in the wilderness; how he had defeated their enemies before them; and how he had established them in a land of abundance and security just as he had promised. He wanted them to remember his love and faithfulness in the past so that they would know they could trust him with their future. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Our 40th anniversary will be a link to the past. As we celebrate the history of Greater Portland, we are in fact celebrating 40 years of the love and faithfulness of Jesus to this congregation. He has faithfully led us through times of difficulty and times of triumph, through exciting times of growth and confusing times of decline, through times of disunity to a time of unity, and through times of transition to a time of stability.
Our 40th anniversary will also be a bridge to the future. Remembering his faithfulness in the past, we can be confident that Jesus will continue to faithfully lead us into the future he has for us. He will faithfully lead us into new ways of responding to and ministering the gospel to the changing culture around us. He will faithfully lead us through the inevitable leadership transitions. He will faithfully lead us to become a “glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, holy and without fault.”
Our 40th anniversary is a celebration of what Jesus has done in and to and through Greater Portland Bible Church throughout our history. But it is also an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to keep Jesus at the center of this church and to faithfully follow him into the future. Please be preparing yourself now to join us in reaffirming that commitment on December 3rd.