About your reason for living . . .

Christianity is sometimes criticized as a religion that offers people “pie in the sky by and by,” but this critique is based on a tragic misunderstanding. Although Jesus Christ gives us the hope of eternal life, his equally priceless gift is the promise of a life of meaning and purpose here and now.

Concerns about what happens to us after we die come and go depending on our personal circumstances, but what we need every day — every hour, every minute — is a well-defined, powerfully compelling reason for living. Lose this, and you will find yourself in severe turmoil and possibly even mortal danger.

By contrast, becoming ever clearer about your life purpose will inspire and energize you in a multitude of positive ways. Rather than languish in confusion and indecision, you will move forward from a solid foundation. You greet each day as another opportunity to fulfill your mission. You’re not exhausted by having too much to do because you evaluate what fits your mission and what doesn’t and you prioritize accordingly. You take obstacles and setbacks in stride because you know they haven’t been placed in your path to defeat you, but rather to make you stronger. Each day, you live in the joy of serving values and goals larger than yourself, and your service keeps changing the world for the better long after you are gone. What could be better than that?

But here’s the catch: Finding your reason for living isn’t always easy. It requires ongoing reflection and a willingness to re-evaluate and change course as your life moves in new directions and you find yourself in places you never expected to be.

In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus gives his disciples instructions about all of this — instructions that are critically relevant to us today. This Sunday, we’ll explore these instructions and apply them to our quest to find — and keep — our reason for living. We’ll also reflect on the life of Esther in the Old Testament, who was born “for such a time as this.”

Please come in your “coolest” clothes for the first Sunday of July. Begin the month by celebrating the Lord’s Supper with all your friends at Community Church of Providence!

With love and warmth,

Evan Howard,