Summary: When we understand "elpizo" hope and live it out, we will be united and be able to build up one another!

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The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World! Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty. For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard. Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America’s first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.

After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for the starvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer. The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America’s first Thanksgiving Festival. Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in these words: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet “BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT." – Mayflower Pilgrim Edward Winslow

If you’re a Christian, you are a pilgrim on this earth till Jesus Christ returns. Here’s the question for us Christians today, “Are we in want and are we truly celebrating as a church family?”

The Letter to the Romans tells us that we have everything we need from God! We have everything we need in our church family to grow in unity and hope! Romans 15 talks about these things and we will read this passage. But first let us commit to memory and to action Hebrews 10:25, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Would you take a moment to quietly pray right where you are, and ponder about this verse. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to your church? Take a moment to pray………

Romans 15:1-14………

As Christians and as a church, we are to live in unity and in hope. Let us talk about hope first. How important is it to have hope in life?

What kind of a life does a hopeless person have??

A life without hope is a life of depression! It is crucial that each one of us have hope and live with that hope in mind. Of course God knows this and He tells us how to have hope? Look again with me v4….. and v13….

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