What is the weather like in your neck of the woods? Since a majority of AFLC congregations are located in the Upper Midwest—as is mine—I am hoping that by the time you read this there will be clear and evident signs of spring either present or on the horizon. However, if the presumed floater in your eye is actually snow falling out of the sky, have no fear, spring will come (Genesis 8:22).
Spring is one of my favorite times of year—not because I hate winter and not because I thoroughly enjoy seasonal allergy flare-ups, rather, because spring is the season of rebirth, resurrection, and restoration. Spring is, as Andrew Peterson says in his song “Risen Indeed,” when “the winter dies with a blast of icy wind; like a mournful cry, it’s giving up the ghost again. … [When] the flowers bloom like a song of freedom; [where we] behold the earth is new [again], if only for a season.”
Spring is when we are especially reminded that “all this darkness is just a small and passing thing” (again quoting Peterson). In other words, spring is the season when we are given a preview and foretaste of the truth and reality that when Jesus stepped into our world of brokenness, He came not only to save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil, but, in doing so, He also came to restore us and all things to Himself—to restore us to life and into the people we were made to be. This is why I think it is so fitting that Easter takes place in the spring—the season of restoration—because that is what Jesus’ death and resurrection are ultimately all about. This event was the first step in His work to restore all things—a work that will ultimately come to completion at His return.
Over the last six months, the members of the 2021 FLY Committee have been busily planning the next FLY Convention, a tool for winning the lost, building the believer, and encouraging student disciplemaking in the local congregation. Of course, in the planning process, one of the key elements is settling on the theme and text which will give a clear focus to this biennial youth gathering.
After prayerful consideration, members of the 2021 FLY Committee are excited to announce the FLY 2021 theme of “Restored.” Our theme text is Revelation 21:5-7, in which the Apostle John writes, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”
We are excited to see what the Lord will accomplish at the 2021 FLY Convention. Like the restorative work that Christ is accomplishing, the FLY Committee’s work is not yet complete. Therefore, we would covet your prayers as we press on toward July 5-10, 2021.
Pastor Gideon Johnson
2021 FLY Committee President
This article was originally published in the March issue of the Lutheran Ambassador magazine.