December 31, 2021 | Dan Low
At the onset of a brand new year, God in his mercy awakens us with a fresh beginning. That tends to energize us with a flurry of good, well-intended, and personally-focused resolutions like eating healthier, increasing physical activity, carving out more time for family and friends, exploring ways to use our God-given talents and resources, organizing at home, spending less/saving more, and pursuing that new hobby.
While we naturally envision a plethora of ways that we can develop as individuals, our faith in Jesus compels us to also think more broadly as a community of saints. Our Father in heaven has set us apart to himself as his own family so that we could become more like his Son through the transformative and indwelling presence of his Spirit. As we collectively progress in Jesus’ likeness, that translates into a deeper satisfaction and a further communication of our hope in him.
In the midst of ongoing challenges and difficulties that we are all facing, the God of hope has providentially positioned our faith community to represent him with courage and compassion. Even worse than this once-in-a-lifetime, longer-than-we-ever-imagined pandemic is the prospect of being condemned as sinners and forever separated from God. We are truly privileged to tell others that Jesus has made it possible for us to be reconciled with God through his death and resurrection. While we were once without hope and far from God as his enemies, we are now hopeful in Christ and the dwelling place of God’s Spirit.
Our hope as a sacred assembly is securely anchored in the Savior’s completed work, in the Father’s sovereign plan, and in the Spirit’s daily empowerment. Let’s lean in closer to the Spirit for wisdom, guidance, and clarity as we give reasons for the hope that is in us. And let’s trust God with our shared resolution to truly love others in the way that he has loved us through Jesus.