NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGES, NEW EXPECTATIONS

By Pastor Wes Poole

Isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. NRSV

Happy New Year! Of course that’s the traditional greeting for this time of year and it is truly an appropriate one.  2021 is facing some serious expectations from all of us! 2020, has been tough. There’s no sense in trying to claim otherwise. Still, hope abides for the New Year. As is always the case, the old makes way for the new. Past experiences, both good and bad, are put aside as we ponder yet another year in ministry together. We should be happy about it! We’ve just celebrated one of the holiest and most festive times of the year. To be sure, it looked and sounded a bit different this year, but the glory of Christmas is still that one small life, born in a stable in Bethlehem; that one small life that banished darkness and sin forever. We bask in the reflected light of God’s love in Jesus Christ. The coming season of Epiphany is all about light; true, physical light that illuminates the season and the light of new understanding that comes with the knowledge of our salvation.`

The New Year will no doubt bring with it many joys and sorrows, triumphs and setbacks. That will be no different for us as a family of faith. The people of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will experience all of the highs and lows that life has to offer as we minister to God’s people in yet another New Year. What I pray we can remember is that the wonder of Christmas, the wonder of that little child, Emmanuel, God with us will not diminish as the year moves on. God love is not seasonal. He does not come to us at Christmas only to abandon us for the remainder of the year. God is always there, through Word and Water, Bread and Wine, Community and Fellowship. The Holy Spirit is blowing through and around us, constantly inspiring us to new and greater deeds in Jesus’ Name. In short, there is still plenty to do as we seek to live faithfully…and all of it helps to make the New Year a truly happy one. May we look fearlessly to our future and embrace the challenges God sets before us. We have but to trust in Him to see the miraculous happen!!

May Almighty God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit continue to show us the joy of service in the coming year.

Let us pray…

Once again, you have shown how your light shines in the darkness. As we turn from celebrating the wonder of your Incarnation to pondering the needs and challenges of the coming year, help us to continue being Christ in the World; serving our neighbors and reflecting your love around us. Anywhere we see need, merciful Lord, give us the strength and vision to meet it. We pray these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Be well, be kind, and be safe.

Blessings Always,

Pastor Wes †

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