Another Year Has Ended

Pastor’s Pondering

  Another year has ended, but more importantly, a new one has begun.  The Christmas decorations have been or will soon be taken down and packed away, the gifts are being used or returned and the thank you notes  have been written and mailed  The hustle and bustle of activity has died down and we have returned to the routine of our daily lives.  BUT WHY?  Can't we live like we're celebrating Christmas all year long?  We should be celebrating our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ all year, not just during the month of December. 

  He was born, but he also died and rose again to sit at the right hand of God, the Father in Heaven.  And, Jesus will return in power and glory as it says in Matthew 24:30-31(CEV)--Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man.  All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth. 

 We need to live our lives anticipating that day, preparing to celebrate, just as we do for Christmas and Easter.  What is the difference?  The differences are that we can't mark that date on the calendar.  Jesus can't let us know when he is coming.  God wants it to be a surprise.  Another difference is that only those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be able to celebrate the day of his return.  Non-believers get caught up in the secular celebrations of the Christian holidays; the trees, the lights, and the presents at  Christmas and the Easter bunny, the colored eggs, and the baskets full of Peeps and chocolate bunnies at Easter.  But, what will they have to celebrate on the day of Jesus' return?

  Continuing from Matthew 24, verses 36-44--No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know. Only the Father knows. When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day that the flood came and Noah went into the big boat. They didn't know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away that is how it will be when the Son of Man appears. Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. So be on your guard! You don't know when your Lord will come. Homeowners never know when a thief is coming, and they are always on guard to keep one from breaking in. Always be ready! You don't know when the Son of Man will come. 

I don't say these things to scare you or depress you.  I say them, repeat them actually, as they come directly from the Bible,  to remind each of us that we should be living our lives in Jesus Christ.  We should have hearts full of love for Jesus and we should celebrate that love each day.  We should be willing to heed his call on our lives and serve him with joy and gladness every day.  When we worship we should do so with praises, amens, and colorful decorations. 

  It is a new year, a time when most people make resolutions; resolutions that they don’t keep.  My prayer for myself and for you is that we will resolve to live more Christlike lives in 2018 and beyond; that we will witness to others the true gift we all received on that first Christmas over 2000 years ago and that those with whom we share that gift will be willing to accept it. I also pray that we will live and worship with excited anticipation of Jesus' return.  Amen? 

Pastor Nancy     
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