Happy New Year everyone! May God bless this new year called 2018! As we ask for this blessing we must pause and reflect on the year just passed, the year 2017. What went right, and what went wrong? Making a list is a good way to sort this out. Checking off those things that were accomplished and then listing also those things which did not go as planned. Are there things left over, undone, that we can now do? This would be a good time to make a new list of things that can now get accomplished in this new year! Where we did right, let’s celebrate, giving thanks to God for those accomplishments!
With God’s blessing, we shall look forward into this new year with the hope we talked about during Advent. As Christians we need always face life with hope firmly in our hearts, bringing our positive attitudes into all of which we pray will transpire, as we now move forward into these unchartered times. As we do so, let us not forget: The God of our understanding has not brought us this far into our journeys to forsake us now! No, the God of Christmas, the ‘Light’ of Christ now shines in the darkness. Our Christmas celebration was meant to remind us of God’s fervent and faithful love for all of us! Christmas is meant to be a time of jubilant joy which ought to put our hearts to rest and offer us some peace!
If we find ourselves exhausted from the activities of our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations we can now take some time to rest! Clearly, our loving God would want us to take care of our needs today! Don’t put this off until tomorrow… get the rest you need. If you are in a state of emotional turmoil, turning to God in prayer may be helpful. Or seek council from your pastor or someone close to you. Don’t allow your needs to go uncared for too long. Come to church and allow times of worship to nourish your spirit!
Personally, I am excited about yet another new year! There are still so many, many things on my ‘to do’ list! I pray you all will look for the ‘Light’ of Christ in the new opportunities in front of you as well! There are a multitude of wonderful fulfilling adventures still to be had. All we need do is follow the path that God has laid out for us as individuals, as a faith community, and as a people! May God’s love, God’s grace and mercy set your feet on this a new pathway: with Faith, with new hope, and with fulfilled peace and new joy! Happy New Year to one and all!
Pastor Tim Woodard