Celebrating 40 Years

by | Mar 1, 2024 | Mission & Values, Notes from the Executive Director

Forty is a big birthday – for anyone! “The Big 4-0” is usually marked with a party, with cards proclaiming that you’re heading down the other side of the proverbial hill, and jokes about how old you are.

What does it mean to be 40? As celebrated as 40 is in our culture, in the Bible narratives, 40 means something. We find the number in so many places: It rained for 40 days and 40 nights in the flood in Genesis 9, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, Jesus’ temptation lasted 40 days… And so many more references to 40. So what is the significance of 40?

One perspective is that 40 represents an uncountable number – it is twice the total number of total fingers and toes to count on. It was a LOT. Wikipedia says that in the Old Testament it is the equivalent of “a whole bunch”. So a forty-day flood was a looooong time. 40 years in the wilderness was a whole generation of people. 

But there is more to 40 than just a long time. Over and over again in the Bible, 40 appears at times of great transformation and renewal. The world was transformed and renewed after the flood. The Israelites were transformed from a group of confused slaves into a nation state in the 40 years in the wilderness. Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai and came back with the Law that renewed the understanding of righteousness before God.  Jesus was tested and renewed in his 40 days of solitude. 40 ushers in the new, the renewed, the transformed.

As we celebrate our fortieth year of ministry here at Love, we pray that that same renewal and transformation is a part of our story. As a ministry, we get to be a part of God’s amazing transformation for so many families in our community, and to see the new starts that God’s people get. Transformation is central to what we do.

But we also pray for the renewal and transformation of this ministry. Just as “40” preceded the dawn of a renewed earth, preceded a brand new state for Israel, preceded the miracles of Jesus, we expect that “40” will precede a new era here at Love – a time of connecting with more churches, more volunteers, more business and organizations, all to work together toward God’s new creation.

We are so thankful for 40 years of support and collaboration with this community. And we can’t wait to see where God leads for the next 40!