01.20.21

BY Mark Clark

A Prayer Day Message from Pastor Mark

It goes without saying that 2020 was a hard year for us all. Especially for those who have fallen ill, or have lost their loved ones, those who had to deal with illness and depression, and those homes that saw abuse. As a pastor, I personally saw people experiencing all of these things this past year. It was a year filled with disappointment, fear, and an inability to be present with those we love. All of this fed the darkest parts of ourselves, those parts that want to fight, lash out, blame and be divisive, those parts that seek truth without grace and grace without truth, both of which are unhealthy endeavours.

But 2021 is a fresh start. A new day. A new year. One already on a challenging track for many in its opening days and I am sure will continue in many ways to include challenging days. We have to remember as we face 2021 that as hard as this past year has been, there have also been flashes of virtue. It was a year where we saw great acts of selflessness, kindness, and love that transcended the struggles. Creativity, innovation and great generosity was born out of the pressure. All of this arising in a way we never would have chosen but alas, these are the good things that came of such a year. In that way, God has used all of this to make us, not melt us (1 Peter 1:3-9).

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

– 1 Peter 1:3-9

As we step into 2021, I feel a call to action for myself to pray! And I want you to join me. We have put together a list of the most critical items that we believe God is asking us to come to him in prayer about as we start this new year. From lives being changed through the gospel to new church plants, to the end of the pandemic, to reopening physical sites, to ministry impact, to new resources, and much more. The full list can be found at: thisisvillagechurch.com/prayerday and I’m asking us all to come together for a day dedicated to praying as one church for God to do incredible things that we couldn’t even imagine.

It’s a long list of stuff we are asking the Lord for but we serve a big God! I am going to do my best to be a positive force under Jesus for the big world that we live in and the smaller world I face every day; the world made up of my family, friends, staff, church, neighbours, and the people online whom I may never meet but who my words may be able to help. Join me! And let’s start together in prayer.

Pastor Mark Clark