Pastor's Letter - January
Greetings in the name of the one who was born in a lowly manger and now is the King of Kings.
I look forward to 2019. I hope that you do too.
Maybe you're not looking forward to 2019. Maybe you see challenges ahead. The church is no different, and certainly, we will all have challenges in some place in life. Unexpected things will arrive to dampen our spirits, and we will have extra hoops to jump through and extra responsibilities that we didn't count on.
It is hard sometimes to look into the future with hope because we see the passing of time and are reminded of our mortality. However, we also need to look forward with a sure and certain hope of immortality because of Christ. And every calendar year that passes gets us closer to the realization of the hope that keeps us going!
The early Christians indeed looked hopefully at the future because they believed that Christ was coming in their lifetime. They took too literally the word "generation" that Jesus used when he talked about the end.
It's interesting that way. We look at generations in a certain way, in a smaller way, than God does. For God, we are all a part of one generation that has been ongoing for thousands of years. I suppose it is easier to look at it that way when you can see all of time at once, when you have the "big picture" that God has. But for God, we are all connected.
And why am I excited? Because Jesus will show up in 2019. I'm not making some prediction about the return of Christ, but I am making a prediction about you. Because in your life, in what you do, in how you carry out God's love, Jesus will indeed show up. He will show up in your lending a helping hand to a neighbor in need. He will show up when the mission trip goes to Cincinnati and the participants of the trip learn new things about themselves. Jesus will show up each month when we feed our neighbor and each time when you come to worship. Jesus will show up in the Holy mystery that is Holy Communion.
At the time of this writing, Christmas is past and you are probably in the midst of taking down your decorations if you haven't already. After the Christmas feast, the church has work to do. The church has the work of being the hands and feet of Christ in this world, working that which is well-pleasing to God. The church has the work of loving and giving of itself in a radical way.
I'm excited because I can't wait to see how God uses each and every one of you in 2019. I can't wait to see how God uses me, either.
Peace to you in this New Year!