At the New Year, 2019
Peggy, my family and I are sorting through boxes of things Sara and I brought with us when we moved here to the Dimondale and Grovenburg Churches. Many of the contents will go to Goodwill or to recycling centers. Some may go to We Got Junk. Each box holds many memories, too. There are some little treasures and keepsakes that my children and grandchildren may want. There are pictures and other things that are family heritage and go back past my own grandparents. The memories are poignant. Some bring laughter.
Some bring tears.
This is a time of closure. It also is a time of new beginnings. We don’t know just what those new beginnings will be. Peggy, my children and I want to step out in faith – faith that it is God who holds the future.
The prophet Isaiah declares, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43: 19, NIV). The Book of Revelations says, “See, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:05, NRSV). From the very beginning, God has been creating, recreating, making, remaking, forming and transforming. It is a loving God who holds the future and always has. Our future is secure. We can then, if we will, step into the New Year, 2019, with faith, hope and anticipation. What can God do through each of us in the year that lies ahead?
Many years ago my maternal grandfather, W.W. Diehl, a Methodist minister, wrote a prayer for the New Year. It is filled with hope and faith. I have shared it with you and many other congregations in the past, but it’s beauty is worth sharing this New Year again.
May we all see God’s countless blessings in 2019.
“As we face the new year with its summons to love trustworthy and triumphant, let us live above the fret which poisons our bodies, disturbs our minds and embitters our spirits; above the folly that robs us of our strength and adds to the burden of our friends; above the things present or to come which crush courage and destroy hope.
Let us enter into peace which shuts out all unworthy thoughts and helps to heal the hurt of the world; into the power which rises in character and goes forth, in service; into the possessions which impoverish none but enrich all; into the appreciation which receives good from all that God hath made and uses for good, all that God hath given; into the patience which trusts without shadow of doubt His infinite wisdom to supply our needs.
Let us accept the will of God as our law; the Spirit of Christ as our light, and the love of Christ as our daily inspiration. So may we spend our days in greatness and gladness and gratitude of our faith and steadily serve our fellows by what we say and do and are.”