Pastor Bruce K. Meier
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life (Matthew 6:25-27) ?
The journey through 2004 is about to come to an end and the journey through 2005 is about to begin. While we may want to dwell upon, worry about, or revel in the journey through 2004; we are about to embark on a journey into the "New Year!" We have never been there before and we don't know what it will hold for us. So just for a few moments, allow me to make a few suggestions for the trip.
First of all, travel as light as you can. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:1-3).
We have a tendency to drag past sins, arguments and tensions along with us into a new year. Therefore turning one tedious journey into another. When we free ourselves of the burdens of the past, through the forgiveness found in Christ Jesus, we soon find ourselves renewed with the energy to go forward into the future. Doing so allows us to enter 2005 with a spiritual renewal that focuses on Christ, Who is the "Author "of our faith.
Second, don't forget your map. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).
For the Christian to enter 2005 without the Word of God, the Bible, is like going on a cross-country trip to places you have never been before without a road map. The Word of God keeps us from finding ourselves in places we don't belong, prevents us from getting lost, and leads us to those places that are beneficial to us.
Third, we should take only what we need. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
Think of all the gifts that God has provided you, talents, brains, time, prayer, treasures, fellowship with the saints. So what do we need for the journey through 2005? We need confidence! Expect God to do great things through us to His glory. We need contentment! Look at the world around you and then ask yourself, "What do I have to grumble and whine about?" We need courage! We need the courage to stand up for our faith. We need the courage to proclaim the greatest of all messages, the message of salvation in Christ Jesus, the "Good News." We need consecration! We need to hand our lives over to God and let Him play the strings of our life like the strings of a well tuned Stradivarius.
Fourth, we need to pay attention to the signs along the way. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth (Daniel 6:27).
Be patient on your journey through 2005. You should neither get ahead of God or lag behind. He will lead you and show you the way. So take time for the detours, the speed limits and the routes He chooses.
Finally, we should expect to enjoy the journey. There should be little doubt in our minds that God will place before us exciting opportunities and rich blessings in 2005. We should anticipate them and expect them to happen.
So, as you enter the year 2005, be prepared to be amazed. Be prepared for a most wondrous and glorious journey with Him Who truly is "the Author and Perfecter of our faith," Christ Jesus the Lord.
- Pastor Bruce K. Meier of the Calvary Lutheran Church of Sunnyside.