Friends, it is Friday, January 6, 2017, the first Friday of 2017. Only 353 days until Christmas.
Several years ago, I saw on a billboard these words: “Embracing the Future, Honoring Tradition.” It has been said that these are two things in life that are certain: Death and taxes. I believe there are really four. The third being “change” and the fourth being “God’s Grace.” How change is manifested could be radical and immediate. On the other hand, it could be evolutionary, slow to develop. Nevertheless, change happens. Many have lived long enough to witness great strides in medicine, automobiles, space travel, communication, music, and the list goes on. I remember gasoline being 19 cents a gallon, groceries for a family of eight for one month costing $100.00. I could give additional examples of what “it used to be like.” So could you. What has remained constant, unchanged throughout human history, is God’s love, manifested through Christ and God’s Word. How that is proclaimed has changed.
Change happens. It happens when clergy receive an appointment to a church, when a loved one moves from the area, when our children grow up and the home becomes an “empty nest.” Change happens. What are constant is God’s unfailing Word, God’s desire for all to live abundantly (John 10:10) and to have Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of the world. I heard a prayer that incorporated these words, “some of us are grown, and some are growing. But what will happen with the gifts we give will be miraculous.”
I find wonder in that word, “miraculous.” Miracles happen. I believe that hard hearts can be softened, and fixed minds open to new possibilities. We are about to enter the throws of winter where little greenery is seen, much less imagined. I sit under our backyard patio with a fire burning and enjoying its warmth and the songs of nature around me. [I have a few bird feeders to help the cause.] However, I can imagine my spring garden and what I will plant this year. Because I garden, I have hope. All of us are gardeners, we plant seeds of love, affection, nurturing relationships and fostering possibilities.
We come back to the beginning of this epistle: “Embracing the future and honoring traditions!” Imagine, pray, plan and act on what God has placed in your heart to be involved in the life of the church, visiting our shut-ins, welcoming our Sunday guests, maybe teaching and starting a new class, volunteering on Sunday afternoon (See Betsy and Bridget) and the list goes on…as we get involved in 2017.
May 2017 be unimaginable in the grace of God…
Blessings from Duncanville,
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)