“See, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5
I understand that a new year is just a marking of time. It is arbitrary. It is a bit artificial. January 1 is simply twenty-four hours after December 31. Nevertheless I, like and you I suspect as well as the rest of the world, am eager to put 2020 behind us. What a year!
The pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. The political year displayed just how divided we are. There are many beloved who are still with us, but upon another shore. I also know that the pain and disruption is still with us, and will remain with us for a while.
Yet. Yet, even so. This is a new year and a year so full of promise and hope. I’m excited! But before 2020 is a memory we put behind us, a couple of observations: God is faithful. This is not news, we have always known it. But how powerfully it has been demonstrated, and continues to be demonstrated. Reality has surrounded and embodied words we have long used, God is our strength and shield. A very present help in times of trouble. Can anyone doubt it? Let’s give thanks to the God who continues to hold us up.
Trinity is faithful. I want to call this to your mind and in the same breath say, “Thank you.” Back in March when the pandemic swept among us and our world was turned upside down, I reminded you that the Great Commandment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. A second commandment is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. It is my prayer that years from now when some future church historian is writing our book, he/she will say every decision made put love for and safety of the community and the church family before all other considerations. Over the past nine months we have made some hard, agonizing decisions but I believe that they reflect who we are and what we value. In the midst of all this, our congregation has been profoundly faithful in supporting the church and even more in supporting our outreach into the community. You should feel justifiably proud.
Our commission is ever before us. 2021 promises to offer a return to a new normal. We are looking forward to coming back! But I firmly believe that the experiences of this years is causing many people to re-evaluate their lives. THEY NEED THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST! Our commission, our message, our work is more important now than ever. We may be looking forward to taking a sigh of relief but we cannot rest from our labors. God is sending us into the world. It is a new year. It is a new world.
But it is the eternal hope that we bear and proclaim. Welcome 2021!
May God bless us, every one.