Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! The year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two: 2022!
We change calendars, add another number to the date and try to remember to write 2022 instead of 2021! We already began the church New Year, on November 28th with the First Sunday of Advent, so we have been talking and living new things in our daily life. Yet, the rest of the world around us is now marking the change with shows, parties, and summaries of what happened in 2021.
Much of what we hear or read about the ending of 2021, sounds very familiar with what we heard at the end of 2020. Jesus, lover of our souls, would remind us that we are not stuck in a repeat! Listen, to what he told John to write in The Revelation To John
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants what must soon take place; and he made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)
Make no mistake, God has taken the initiative in coming to us! The centuries of dispute, questioning, interpretation, all take a backseat to the truth that God acts to make himself known to us, so we might know his love, respond in faith, receive his salvation, and be born into new life that is abundant and eternal.
When we become enmeshed in the grumbling and distractions that take our eyes of faith off the amazing truth of God’ love and grace, we need the Church, the body of Christ, each other, to remind and encourage that we might we remain faithful.
The truth is, God is doing new things in our lives at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. If you take a few moments and jot down on paper the things that have changed in your own personal life, you will find yourself reminded that we are not stuck in the past! Take a few moments and consider what might God want to be doing in our lives in the year ahead? This list could be endless… Now, turn again to Revelation and listen to what God says near the end of the text.
And he who sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolators, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and Sulphur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:5-8)
We are well served by beginning the New Year with fresh commitment to God in Jesus Christ and to his
Church. We pray as God has commanded for our government and leaders, though we know our hope and confidence should not reside in them. We work and give ourselves to establishing and building strong relationships, though we know that no one except God will be perfectly faithful and always there for us, nor will we always be there for others.
God is making all things new. We have another moment, another opportunity, another year to give ourselves to Jesus Christ. We have new opportunities to share the Good News of God’s love for all the world. We will meet new people, connect with established friends, and in all relationships have the privilege to share what Jesus has done in our lives, the hope and joy of forgiveness and new life, the peace and power of his Holy Spirit, the gifting and renewal of the presence of God’s Spirit each day!
We will have the daily opportunity to face “fresh sin” with the assurance, God is a perfect, just, holy, loving God! Jesus assures us we can trust God with life, death, and resurrection, and we can trust God with perfect judgment – for us and for others! Facing fresh sin each day gives us the privilege of sharing the light of Jesus Christ with this world he came to save! Many of the lost have never heard the truth of God’s love for them, and the fact that they can be rescued and redeemed!
Jesus meets us this New Year whether we are world-weary grumblers or excited and expectant. Jesus is God’s miracle of salvation and transformed life! Humbly ask Jesus to give the miracle of new life. Receive His new birth, and the indwelling of Christ’s Holy Spirit.
Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying.
In Jesus, Paul and Nancy Wier