Today we celebrate.
We will celebrate what’s been accomplished within the Bible translation movements around the world in the past three years (since our last Delegate Conference)– things completed, things started, and things where various types and quantities of progress has been made. I this celebration there will be marching about and flag waving and balloons and music. People will tell stories.
We will celebrate the milestone markers of 25, 40 and 50 years of service by some in Wycliffe who will be in the room.
We will celebrate the dozens of people who have taken on additional responsibilities in order to serve this conference and the delegates.
We will celebrate the ways that we have encountered God’s invitation or direction and, by the power of His Spirit working in us, ways we have said YES! to Him. We will celebrate the ways we see others around us saying YES! to God in ways that inspire us, challenge us, and often surprise us.
We will celebrate what God has accomplished in and among us over these past 3 days together. We invited Him to not just watch over our conference like a divine body-guard but rather to fully superintend our gathering. We told Him that we wanted Him to be God in our thinking and speaking and working together. We told Him we wanted to get out of His way and let Him use the loaves of fish of our planning and preparations to feed whomever He wanted to feed. I am one who saw Him time and again doing just that and significantly more. That is how He is — generous and gracious beyond measure.
We will celebrate the unknown future and proclaim our hope and joy in facing the unknown in the confidence that He will meet us there.
And just in time for lunch, we’ll close our conference and say good-bye to friends and colleagues, and start moving toward the next thing.
While it is very good to gather on occasion for great celebrations, we are here on this earth for greater things which will lead to greater celebrations. This is a dim reflection. A rehearsal. A glimpse. Then…face to face, together with all who choose to worship the One God and Father, the holy and mighty Creator of all.