We serve a God of new beginnings, and as we start a new year we look with breathless anticipation at the many blessings that we will be given during this year to come. Sure, there will be hardships and challenges. We cannot anticipate any time which will be without difficulty, but through them all we may be assured that our gracious God will be taking us through these torrents without getting wet and through the fires without being burned. Psalm 34 tells us, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.. . . The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. . .” [Psalm 34: 8, 19 ESV] We have survived a year of pandemic and have come through stronger and more confident of God’s love for us, so we’ve got this.
When the ancient Israelites wandered through the wilderness for those forty years, they had to do it one step at a time – learning that it was not by their own pow- er, strength, or might – but by the hand of an almighty God shepherding them along the way. Their confidence was bolstered not only by the God who walked right be- fore them, but also in the day by day recollection of how He had saved them all along the way. This constant reenforcement in our memories of God’s never failing grace builds our faith and trust in the One Who will never forsake nor leave us but actively seeks us out to save us.
In the body of Christ, it is the believers actively engaging in the life of the church which operates as the backbone of the church. Without being connected through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and the power of the risen Lord, however, we are simply so many vertebrae – bones unable to operate on their own. But bound together in Christ and through His strength, we are the church – standing tall, caring for each other, reaching out with the Love of God and providing a safe and nurturing place for all to come and worship and receive His gifts and to praise the One Who cares for us.
Let us rejoice in the start of a New Year with the banner of the Cross of Christ rising strong before us. In Him we can do all things, for He strengthens us! Come sit by me! The view is great from where I sit – and getting better all the time!