Like most years that have come and gone, 2015 was a year of wonderful highlights and a year of difficult days. We can evaluate any given year from several different perspectives. We can think about it from an intimate personal or family point of view. Or we could expand to incorporate the current world situation. I hope that your personal reflections are good and strong. But we all know that our world is filled with conflict and struggle.
As I look back, I can see a number of places where I wish I had done better. I can also see situations around the globe that I wish were less violent, more peaceful, or filled with positive momentum. But there isn’t much we can do about the past except to learn from it, seek to improve, and move forward as people of faith.
So, let’s think a bit about 2016! What would you like to see happen in 2016? How would you like to see your own life move forward? Who are the people you would like to impact? What would we be willing to do to make something good happen in our own lives, in the context of our family, and in relationship to the world? Oh, one last thing…how will our combined faith and the life of our congregation play a part in that process?
We all know that 2016 does not have the capacity to draw life and breath. It is just a way that we mark time. We know the pages of the calendar cannot dictate or create history. But the decisions we make, actions we take, the way we choose to live will make a difference in the thought we have one year from now.
I believe there will be things that will happen in 2016 that are beyond our control. But in a much stronger way, I believe that we have the opportunity to live our lives for the Lord, to take positive action for Christ, be a blessing to others, create ministry that impacts and is transforming in the world. It would be sad to believe anything else! So, what are the things we would like to see happen in 2016?
I would like to see our congregation become known in every corner of our community for a message of hope that comes from the heart of God.
I believe that God is raising up remarkable leaders who are called to serve faithfully in their homes, through our school systems, in our places of employment, and even around the world.
I trust that God is going to provide a combination of vision that is partnered with clarity of action so that the message of Jesus Christ can be heard and received by people we have not yet met.
I am confident that the Lord is helping us to clarify and focus our mission so every person in our congregation will know that they are blessed to be a blessing to others.
I want to invite us into a renewed commitment to pray as though it all depended on God and to work as though it all depended on us. If we do that, 2016 will have some courageous components that will absolutely not be possible unless God is actively working through us to make it happen. I believe 2016 will be a bold new year.
What do you believe?
God Bless You All!