Hagerstown Church of the Brethren
15 S. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301-733-3565 * FAX: 301-733-3598

"Church in the Heart of the City with the City at Heart"
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

The Pastor's Pen - January 2024

All the wrappings of Christmas will pass away with the coming of the New Year. What remains with us are the memories. But wait…is that all we are left with. I hope not.

We should come away from Christmas reminded that Jesus came into this world so that things could be different. He did not come so that we could have a holiday including time off from work or school, presents, cookies, lots of other food and time with friends and family. The story of Jesus does not end at the stable. Jesus grows up and becomes our teacher and example for how God calls us to live.

Jesus came to show us a different way of life. Jesus came to change things…maybe even shake things up a bit. We should come away from Christmas with renewed life in our faith and a new energy for living as God calls us to live. When people see us, they should be able to recognize something different about us. They should see Jesus.

It is a New Year…a time when we think about the things we want to change in our lives…like losing weight, writing more letters, saving money, reading our Bibles more often,  praying more, and being a better Christian. If you are looking to make this kind of a list into New Year’s resolutions, you may be headed in the direction of failure; especially if you think that you can do it by merely putting your mind to it. Don’t get me wrong, wanting to make a change is an admirable thing…and definitely a good thing; but we cannot do it alone. Faith is not something where we think it…and it’s done. Christmas should remind us that we do not need to do it alone. Jesus wants to help us. It is when we surrender to our Savior by admitting we cannot walk faithfully with God all by ourselves; and therefore, we open ourselves to the indwelling of Christ and the opportunity for a closer walk with God.

So, in this New Year, may we do more than make resolutions in hopes of changing our lives. May we seek the one who came to make a change in us and in the world. Maybe we will shake things up a bit…I hope we do.

Happy New Year