Dear Friends through Christ Jesus:
Happy New Year! I pray all were blessed in some way by Jesus during the Holiday Season. Thank you for the Christmas gift! Your kindness makes me feel that you appreciate hearing God’s Word and you care about shining His Light in a sometimes dark world. I hope and pray in 2021 you will appreciate even more of that Word and shine even more of that Light.
I don’t remember ever looking so forward to a new year. It has been a challenging one, for some more than others. For myself, 2020 shinned a bright light on human injustice. Our lack of concern for the planet, given to us as a gift, and our unwillingness to sacrifice and take action has caused much pain and suffering.
The virus affects the most vulnerable; the poor, the sick and the elderly, those whom Jesus was the most concerned with throughout his ministry. Jesus in all the gospels shows “preferential treatment” to the most vulnerable. The Hebrew Scripture and the Christian Writings both scream out justice. For whom? The poor, the sick and the elderly.
Yet those who have power in our society, those who have contributed to this mess, those who could be the most effective agents in solving these problems, those are the ones who have turned a blind eye, those are the ones who have actually accumulated human wealth and done quite well on the surface. I am quite certain God is not smiling. The pandemic or virus is a brutal bright sign or warning that we, as a global society are heading in the wrong direction. We need to repent—turn around.
The good news is that many of us have now at least “seen” this challenge staring us in the face. Pope Frances writes in his book Let Us Dream, “For a long time we carried on thinking we could be healthy in a world that was sick. But the crisis has brought home how important it is to work for a healthy world.”
The hope is that we begin to look toward God for the solutions. The hope is that “one by one” we begin to focus upon the Cross—the life/death and resurrection of Jesus—and “one by one,” through the Cross we can be shown a path to recovery and abundant life for all, not just the few.
The good news is that the “one by one” can outgrow, outspread Covid-19 and any problems like it; if only we begin to take seriously the role God should play in our
The good news is that regardless of wealth or health, color or age, every single one of us is capable of shinning a little light in a sometimes dark world, remembering even a small amount of light can eliminate a lot of darkness. Maybe, just maybe, some of that light will reach the top.
This New Year, return to the waters of your baptism and repent. When you awake in the morning, thank God for one more day and all its blessings. When you shower and anytime you touch or see water, try to remember the fact that you a child of the Most High and Living God. Then try and act that way.
Spend time with God and His Holy Word. Study it carefully, ask the questions Scripture demands, and then pray like you’ve never prayed before, pleading for guidance, wisdom and strength. Listen, listen for answers, watch for paths shown, and then make a choice whether you want to be part of God’s solution or the Human problem.
Scripture never promises that doing the will of God and following Christ Jesus is easy. It is not. But Scripture does promise, those willing to sacrifice, those willing do what is right and just, those will not be in left in the dark. Their face will shine as bright as the Son--eternally. The light of Jesus Christ is the solution the world needs and it needs to shine through you.
Happy New Year!