A Message for a New Year

Sisters and Brothers,

There is nothing better than a new planner! Ok, maybe not for you, but for me, the flipping of the calendar to a new year means a new planner. Joy! I always spend a significant amount of time going through and picking out the one that will be right for that year. Two years ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to get a paper planner. I would transition to everything online. Last year, I started using notes again to make lists. There is something about writing it down and crossing things off the list. This year, I am back to a regular planner. Although I was late ordering, it should be in sometime soon.

The start of a new year brings new excitement and anticipation. We never know what a year will hold, but we always have the hope and dream of our best year yet. After a year like last year, I have held tight to the meme, “Nobody claim 2021 as ‘your year.’ We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. Don’t. Touch. Anything.” Yes! I think we all feel it. We don’t know whether to be excited, optimistic, and hopeful, or downright terrified again.

Here is the good news. God has not changed. The prophet Jeremiah writes in chapter 29 verse 11, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” This passage was written in the time of the Babylonian exile. God’s people had broken the covenant time and time again. Moses predicted this in Deuteronomy 30 but also gave them a glimpse of hope in verse 4. “Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the Lord you God will gather you, and from there God will bring you back.” Moses knew what would happen, and Jeremiah tried to warn with no avail about the exile if God’s people didn’t turn back to God. In the midst of the unthinkable during the time of exile, though, Moses and Jeremiah’s words are words of hope. God has got you. God has got us.

I can’t tell you what 2021 will bring us, but I do know who holds us. Maybe this is a year to dive deep into trust, give up a little control, move away from our planners, and look towards God. Live into the future that God has for us, bringing God’s kingdom here and now. If everyone did that, we would be just fine!

Grace and Love,

Pastor Laura


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