General André Cox's New Year Message for 2015 - the 150th anniversary of The Salvation Army.
My fellow Salvationists and friends. Happy New Year! Greetings in the name of Jesus as we enter this significant year in The Salvation Army’s history.
Today my mind goes back 150 years to New Year in 1865. I wonder – did William Booth have any sense of the amazing work that God was about to start through him? Could he have realised then that within months he would find his life’s purpose on the poverty-stricken streets of London?
The answer, surely, is ‘no’. How could he have known? How could he realise that a small mission he would start would grow into a movement that 150 years later is taking the Word of God into more than 125 countries? It would have been unimaginable!
Today, as we thank God for his faithfulness to The Salvation Army over 150 years, can we imagine what he has in store for us? The exciting part is that, just like William Booth, we never fully envisage what God can do through us if obediently we fully depend on him.
In July we will gather for Boundless – The Whole World Redeeming, a wonderful international congress with three inspiring themes, namely commemorating the past; celebrating the present; and innovating for the future. If previous international congresses are a guide, the thousands of delegates who attend will gain a deeper experience of the worldwide Salvation Army. Delegates will be present from every country in which the Salvation Army flag is flown, and modern technology means that people right around the world can be part of the celebrations online in a way that has never been possible before. This will be the biggest, most international congress ever!
Leading up to congress, our prayer wave of Boundless – the Whole World Praying will continue to make its way around the world. I encourage you all to participate in this prayer wave as we seek God’s will for and presence in The Salvation Army worldwide.
I also ask that, in a spirit of unity, you join me, Commissioner Silvia and Salvationists from around the world in our New Testament Bible-reading challenge, Boundless – The Whole World Reading. This project, supported by innovative online and app content, presents an opportunity to be One Army as never before. As we share in God’s Word may we grow in wisdom and understanding – together.
It only remains for me to thank you for the work you do in God’s name through The Salvation Army. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 6 verse 10 that God ‘will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.’
In this 150th anniversary year, may the God of the ages bless our commemorations, may the compassionate Christ be at the heart of our celebrations and may the Holy Spirit encourage and guide our innovations.
May God bless you.