Happy New Year!! It is the end of another year and the beginning of a new one. I do not know if we are looking forward to the coming year or more anxious to say goodbye to this one.
This time last year, we all enjoyed the usual optimism for good things to come. We celebrated the work we began in the sanctuary and the newly revised outreach into the community. We looked forward to beginning our Centennial celebrations and anticipated the commissioning of Hank Sexton as our new Deacon.
To say that this past year is not the one we anticipated is an understatement in the grandest sense.
We experienced a significant loss of life of many of our brother’s ad sisters. Our worship services were forced to be distant and online, leaving a few of our own on their own, having no access to internet.
Isolation became the way of life for awhile and simple joys of shopping, dining, gathering, worshipping all disrupted. We have seen business close, finances dwindle, optimism crushed and hope waning…
Yes, in terms of hoping for a better new year, the bar is set exceptionally low indeed. It would not take a lot to be a better year for us all. Who could have anticipated such a year? God did. And He anticipates the new year to come. There is the restoration of our hope. In the place it should always be; in the Grace and peace.
Our struggles in this world can way us down greatly, and continually looking to the world to solve our world’s problems is going to be very satisfying. Looking at the will and wisdom of God, remembering His promises, and knowing with all our hearts what really is of consequence in the filter of eternity in grace, we see a better reality and a greater perspective on life in general and our lives individually. Certainly, history has shown us periods of time when society’s difficulties were greater than these. Our pain is because these are the ones we are going through. The solution to finding hope for next year and renewed optimism lies in genuinely appreciating the Christmas Gift God has given us.
Whatever lies ahead, God knows about it. Whatever difficulties, He will help us with it. Whatever solutions our problems need, He will provide it. Whatever loneliness we experience, He solves it.
Emmanuel. God with us: Now and even till the end of the Ages. We will never be right with the world, and the world will never be right for us, but the gift of Christmas is knowing that we are right with God and the fear of our future has no hold on us.
And so, I say, with great enthusiasm and hope, Happy New Year! And may the Peace of God rain and reign over you now and always! Rejoice in the Lord always!