Happy New Year Everyone! If the past year for you has been anything like mine, there’s been high and low moments. There are good memories we will forever hold on to, and bad memories we may hope to forget. Now, with 2020 upon us, we all are looking ahead to making it a great year. Some of us will even make New Year’s resolutions, hoping that these promises to ourselves will get the new year off to a strong start. But, as we all know, New Year’s resolutions work only if we are disciplined with our follow-through.
Just as we personally embark on a new year, we at Hagerstown Church of the Brethren, are venturing together into the unknown of what the year will bring. I wonder what is to come. Will we seek out new opportunities for ministry and service to each other and to our community? Will we spur one another on to a richer and deeper faith? Will strong bonds of friendship and discipleship be created and nurtured? I am hopeful that there will be positive results to these wonderings.
Likely, there will also be some challenges. I wonder how we will handle those challenges. Will we work together for solutions; or will we let the challenges divide us? Will we turn to God for guidance; or will we rely on social conventions for solutions? Again, I am hopeful that we will work together for positive outcomes to any challenges that arise.
Of one thing we can be certain--this new year is a gift from God. I have no doubt that God has a plan for us, and God will provide the tools and talents we need to fulfill that plan. But, God lets it up to us to decide whether we will endeavor to achieve that which he has planned for us. I know we will succeed in fulfilling God’s plan if we discipline ourselves to keep focus our hearts and minds on Christ. Through our commitment to prayer, bible study, and worship, we will be united in our focus...and our efforts. Scriptures call us to be disciplined as we journey together. For example:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.“ Hebrews 10:24-25
I don’t know about you, but I am excited to begin this adventure into the new year, both personally and with you. Let’s commit ourselves now to focusing all of who we are on God, and step out together to become who God created us to be at HCOB.