Dears Saints of God in Christ,
Happy New Year, again! We are just a few short weeks into the new Church Year and that means it’s time to begin a new calendar year. Are you ready for another year? Are you ready for a new year?
The transition from one year to the next gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on what was and what will be and what might be. Many are saying good riddance to the year 2011. It was quite a year for a lot of folks, especially at the hands of the weather. Tornadoes from Joplin, MO to Springfield, MA; record snowfall last winter for us; an October Nor’easter and a massive power outage. And what about that Virginia earthquake that shook the East Coast?
If the weather didn’t have you down, maybe it was the poor economy, job loss, or struggling to pay the bills that makes you happy to see 2011 go bye-bye. Perhaps it wasn’t a great year health-wise. Perhaps it was a year that you experience grief and sorrow at the death of loved ones. So we are all probably more than willing to let the year 2011 go into the history books as we move forward into a new year that’s full of promise and possibility.
We had hoped for as much this past year, and maybe that didn’t work out the way we had planned. But a new year is upon us! We start with a clean slate! We look forward to a good year that is better than the last. But what if it isn’t? What if the new year isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? How will we made do? How will we get through?
We’ll do it the same way we pushed through 2011, the same way we got through 2007, 1998, 1985, 1974, 1960, 1955, 1943, 1937, 1929, 1918. And it won’t be by our strength or our abilities to cope. It wasn’t then, and won’t be now. We will get through the new year because it is another year that the Lord is with us. It is another year of His grace and love to us in Jesus Christ. We walk through the days and week and months of 2012 with peace because the God of peace Himself walks with us, carries us, supports us. He rejoices with us; He weeps with us. No matter what 2012 brings, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is with us!
So we celebrate a new year of being God’s children. We celebrate a new year of God’s grace and mercy and love. We celebrate that our God goes with us into this new year to bless us and keep us, to make His face shine upon us and be gracious to us, to look upon us with favor, and give us peace.
Happy New Year to all of you!