COLUMBUS REGIONAL CONVENTION: SALT, LIGHT, AND LIFE

At a time when life is so widely taken for granted, when signs of true life are hard to find, and when lives are at stake for people around the world, the 2018 Church of God Regional Conventions are championing life at all stages, all ages, among all races, and under all circumstances. But perhaps like no convention before it, the Regional Convention in Columbus called the Church of God to courageous, contagious, life-giving Christianity.

First Church of God host pastor Timothy Clarke started with a vital review of the basics—the bold Christian life boils down to our response to the gift we’ve been given. Like the gift cards he explained he received for Father’s Day, we have to first accept it. Even then, it does no good to carry the gift around in our wallet if we never use it. “The gift card must be activated, and that happens at the Source. Then I draw down the value.” Then we can, and must, “advertise it.” That is, we are compelled let people know that this gift is available to them, too!

Similarly, Harvey Carey said that salt is useless if not poured out. “I’ve never seen salt do any good while it’s still in the shaker!” he exclaimed. But much of the church has, in recent history, demonstrated fear of contamination by the world. Harvey responds, “Have you ever tasted ‘steaky’ salt? Neither have I! The steak tastes like the salt!” Drawing from 1 Samuel 17:32–40, he showed that the world’s condition is directly related to the church’s lack of involvement. Thankfully, we can do something. We’ve got to give life from the overflow we’ve been given. We can be courageous about it, too, because, as Harvey Carey reminded listeners, “The moment light shows up, darkness has to leave!”

The Holy Spirit also worked in and through Jo Anne Lyon, Jeff Whye, and Jim Lyon to challenge and equip the Church of God to accept and share this gift of life. Of course, there were a variety of other events that took place, speaking to the soul and reconnecting the five hundred saints convened in Columbus with each other and with the divine mission. The CWC Luncheon was one of those events, which seamlessly related Jesus’ offer of abundant life to the story of Jesus’ offer of living water in John 4.

Jim Lyon, Church of God Ministries general director, described the Columbus Regional in the following way: “There was an unusual spirit of celebration, anticipation, and promise” as we recommitted to being salt and light. In the proclamation of the Word and in practice, the unity of the body over the third week of June in Columbus, Ohio, demonstrated that Jesus is the subject, and that he’s made us givers of life.

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