by Rev. Julie Sterling
As I sit down to write this article today, the Christmas season is in its final stretch. The office is at a state of organized disorganization. The final tweaks are being put on the Christmas Eve service bulletin and articles are trickling in for the Bridge. With all the busyness of this week, it finally sinks in that the New Year is just a few weeks away. Boy, this year has gone by fast!
As I glance at my morning devotions, I wonder what blessings will 2020 bring us? What challenges meet our congregation long after budgets have been set and plans made? Whatever meets us in 2020 we know that we are not alone in this and God has a plan.
The Revised Common Lectionary gives us a wonderful gift for January 1st. The Epistle reading comes from Revelation and gives us a hopeful start to the year.
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” 5And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”
Friends, as I think of the coming year I am excited about the possibilities for this church. Our church leadership is working together on transformational training to help our church revitalize in the coming year. The Matthew 25 Initiative will also help us consider new ways to minister to “the least of these” in our community and consider our relevance to our neighbors. I know that there will be changes but there are always changes with growth. I do believe that God has a hand in all of this, transforming us the church of his desire. As God promises a new heaven and new earth, let us work together to make the best of this world here and now. Remember, all we have and all we are belong to God. Let your hope be a guide for the New Year so other can witness to a future life with God. Blessings to each and every one in the New Year. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2020!
Blessings, Rev. Julie Sterling