Let’s Make it a Happy New Year
It has been a difficult year, at least in the global perspective. As a nation we have: come up close to racial tensions in Ferguson and many other places; been concerned about Ebola in Africa; witnessed severe storms as the climate changes; been effected by hacker attacks resulting in identity theft; heard of three Malaysian airliners that vanished into “thin air;” been frustrated by political gridlock in Washington; been terrified by the kidnapping of Nigerian school girls; been revolted by ISIS terrorism. I’ll stop here because you probably get the point. Although most of these events happened far away, every one of these events has touched us in Cordova in one way or another. And, we have had our own personal problems, family losses and tragedies in the past year.
As we begin to welcome in a New Year, we must ask ourselves, “How will this year be any different than the difficult year that is just past?” One answer is that it will not be any different. There will be problems around the world and problems we will face at home, at work and even at church. Many of these problems will be out of our control to stop, or fix or avoid.
However, there is something that can be different, and that difference is how we react to and address these difficult situations as they arise. As someone wise told me long ago, “The only person you have the absolute power to change is yourself.” As Christians, we can draw on a great deal of strength as we move into the New Year if we want to change ourselves. Here are a few of the gifts promised to us:
Our faith gives us hope. The Spirit of Jesus is with you, each and every day. You have been giv-en authority to act in his name without hesitation.
Our faith gives us courage. We have been given a path to journey upon and a sense of what is right and wrong. You have been given the command to, “love one another.”
Our faith gives us determination. We don’t give up because God is always waiting for us in the next day, in the next week, and in the next year. You have the promise that you will be given the strength to face this day.
Our faith gives us a community of believers. We don’t have to travel alone. We can hold each oth-er up during difficult times. We can share the burdens and the joys. We are called and com-missioned to be “A little Christ to our neighbor in need.”
With these convictions and gifts in mind, I can say to you, “Happy New Year.” Let’s work together to make this a year where we can enjoy being blessed by God’s love and where we can bless others through our ministry.
New Year’s blessings to you, Pastor Thom