Happy New Year



We have made it through another Advent season and survived the Christmas rush. Now things will wind down and we can relax just a little until we enter the next Christian season, Lent. I’m glad I said “just a little” because Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 22nd, only 53 days into the new calendar year. As long as I am writing calendar dates, I might just as well let you know that Palm Sunday is April 2nd and Easter is April 9th .

This time of year makes me sad, not because we are in ordinary time on the Christian calendar, a graph of which I have put below, but because so many members of our church families leave to spend the next few months in Florida, Arizona, or other warmer climates. Just as it is with biological families, there are hugs and tears when people depart, but we look forward to their return.

As I think about people leaving and returning, my mind turns to Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We just celebrated his birthday, and in about three months we will remember his suffering, death, and resurrection. All of these occurrences are part of our earthly Christian life, but what should take precedence in our Christian lives always is that, just as we wait for friends and family to return home, we are waiting for Jesus to return.

So, as we resume our Bible study, book club, and any other small group some of us may feel called to organize, may our focus always be on Jesus and our anticipation of his return to live with all of his disciples in the new heaven and the new earth.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:1-4(NIV)

May each of you have a blessed and fruitful new year.

Pastor Nancy