New Year’s Greetings to our SUMC Family & Friends
2020! — A year like no other in my memory. A year I know I would like to forget and move on from!
There are many ways in which this New Year is being described, and many feelings regarding this New Year. It will be a year of possible transition for the Church and transition for our country which brings uncertainty to many. A year in which we will greet new lives in our midst and bid farewell to precious saints. But there is one thing we must count on—Emmanuel—God with us!
God will indeed be with us; leading, guiding, directing, and keeping us. No matter what else is happening in our local neighborhoods or our world, God is with us. In Jesus, God would succeed in a unique way, becoming a man to save the world not from the outside, but from the inside. Emmanuel, God with us, to rescue, redeem, and restore our relationship with Him.
Our choice in this New Year is what we will do with the gift of Emmanuel—God with us? We reflect on the words from the prophesy which began our Advent journey this year—“If only you would break open the heavens and come down.” (Isaiah 64:1)
Well God did, God came down in a manger in the human form of a precious baby who grew into the savior for all the world. And yet we wait—we still tend to wait as if that were not enough. We wait for the Lord to act; to heal the sick, to save the lost, to bring hope to a world so in need of hope.
And so, as we embark on this New Year—I want us to begin our visioning and our journey with these words from that same prophet and people who waited for God to act so many years ago:
“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 29-31)
We thank God for leading us thus far as a congregation and we continue to seek God’s direction in this New Year for the purpose of focusing and harnessing our energies in direction and vision for being a source of great hope for our communities and people.
Isaiah describes a progression that comes after waiting on the Lord: Their energy will be renewed so that they not only walk but run and even mount up with wings as eagles that fly!
God will take them from one level of glory to another level, and the secret is their relationship with God in Jesus Christ – that’s where their strength comes from! Are you ready to have your strength renewed?
I believe God would like each one of us to renew our energy and to TAKE OUR LIVES TO THE NEXT LEVEL IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS once again in 2021;
Our personal relationship with Jesus
Our faith in Jesus Christ
Our commitment to Jesus
Our fruitfulness in being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ for others
Would you join me in this journey and adventure as we move to the next level as a church family, as a body of Christ, and as faithful disciples of Emanuel-God with us?
WITH GOD SURROUNDING US
Let us pray for— A year full of new opportunities An abundance of warm people among us & A life with Jesus Christ “center” in our midst!
Wishing you and yours an incredibly Happy & Blessed New Year—
Grace & Peace,