An End of the Year Meditation6
Once again, the end of the calendar year is upon us. In one sense, time keeps rolling on. I realize I am a year older and (hopefully) a year wiser. 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of my marriage and watching my children (now all adults) grow and take on new challenges. For the first time in 20 years, we traveled away from home for Christmas – but that was still to a Greco home, to our son and daughter-in-law living in Maryland. The longer I live, the more I realize that the Lord is in control of my life and that I am blessed. I am blessed with good health (for the most part), a wonderful family, and a congregation that I am privileged to serve.
As is my habit at this time of year, I want to encourage you to think about all the ways that the Lord has blessed you. He certainly has treated you "better than you deserve" in His Son, Jesus Christ. Christmas time reminds us that when all was dark, when all seemed lost, when we were unable to save ourselves – the Father sent the Son to be our redeemer. And the coming of Christ brings hope into even the most difficult of situations. We need not fear death (what a wonderful thing in this time of COVID!); we don't have to solve the world's problems; and we can know that God accepts us in Christ. When everything around us is uncertain, Jesus is our rock and stay.
Following Jesus does not mean that we are perfect or have all the answers. We certainly learned that this past year in our study of 2 Samuel. David was the "man after God's own heart" who was given God's covenant promise of an everlasting kingdom, and yet over and over again, he failed and needed the grace of God to go on. Do you sometimes feel like you are treading water? That the same problems of life keep repeating themselves? Know that the Lord does not give up on His children when they fall into the same sins or experience the same trials. His promise is "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
This coming year we have a great deal to look forward to as a church. After a COVID pause, our Foreign Missions Conference will be back on the weekend of February 18-20. After that, I will begin a new sermon series in the Gospel of John, "That You May Believe." We will learn together, eat meals together, pray together, and worship together. I am praying that 2022 will be a year in which Jesus shows Himself clearly and especially. Will you pray with me to that end?
As you face the challenges of 2022, the best way to be prepared is to focus on the Word of God. The Bible is ever-relevant, ever-helpful, and ever-comforting. The new year is an excellent time to take up again (or start) the habit of daily Bible reading. There are numerous ways to do that, from reading the New Testament intensively to reading passages from both the Old and New Testaments daily. Our partners at Ligonier Ministries have 18 different Bible reading plans that you can explore HERE. May the Lord bless you richly in 2022!