A Pastor's Perspective 01-02-2024

The way people begin the New Year varies. Some start the New Year remembering the one that has passed and thinking of the one ahead. They have a picture of what they want to accomplish in the coming year. Some think about these things, while others write out their thoughts. Still others dismiss the whole starting the New Year afresh idea. They know there is not a dime's worth of difference between December 31 and January 1. Too many years have passed for them to get worked up about a new year, page or whatever. They tell themselves they are too old and wise for that nonsense, but what if those folks are more cynical than wise and more crusty than old?
   I am one of those folks who knows there is no notable difference between December 31 and January 1. However, the calendar's turn is an excellent moment to stop, reflect and face forward. To dream, think, write down, and plan the new year. Thinking about who I want to become and where I want to go.
   Any day is a good day to make a change for the better. The better changes in my life may not have come from New Year's recollections and resolutions. However, they have never hurt and most often have helped because there is power in thoughtfully looking ahead. New starts and beginnings can begin anytime, so why not the New Year?
   Any day is a day where God is God. That is to say. God is the God of tomorrow. He does not get old. He renews. As the scripture says about His mercies, "They are new every morning." Lamentations 3:23 Those who follow Jesus are to be Good News people. The root word for news is "new". So there is something that calls to me at the start of a NEW Year, and part of that calling comes from the Good NEWs.
   God's promises are new regardless of how often we have tried to change something and failed. And the rhythm of your heartbeat, well, that is the rhythm of God's grace drumming us into a new year and a new day. It is the rhythm of, and proof of, God's grace in your life. That rhythmic beating in our chest is the repetitive signal to rise anew, to face forward.
   Who we become in this life and who we will become in the New Year will result from our reaction to God's grace and the habits we develop. This is the reason we are going to spend the first three weeks of the New Year considering Habits. This series will challenge us to think and pray about who we want to become in the New Year, the habits we will establish in becoming that person, and even the habits we will have to break in becoming that person.
   This will be a helpful series so be thinking and praying about the person or family you can invite this week and bring with you Sunday. I will look forward to meeting them and seeing you.
Roll Tide Anyhow, Blake