January 17, 2016
Christmas, New Year's and all the holiday-related special times are now just pleasant memories. We're back in our routines of work, school, and other "usual" activities. That's not really a bad thing -- we know very well that these holiday times are special and short-term. Sometimes, though, don't you just wish the return to our usual activities didn't have to coincide with, of all times of the year, January?! It would be a little easier to adjust to going back to the routine if it wasn't accompanied by bitter cold, biting winds, and weather so harsh that we huddle into our warmest coats and scurry from house to car to store, work or school, and back again.
In looking for a diversion from the prevailing subject of conversation, namely, the weather, many of us settle in to watch some television on an evening at home. Among the choices available, we might choose a sporting event, a light comedy, an engrossing mystery, or a documentary from which you learn something new and interesting. However, within an hour or less, you're likely to find yourself frustrated in following a story line or the action of a game, as you are assailed with the overwhelming number of political commercials that fill the TV screen. Every one of these individuals is convinced he or she is best suited to be our next president. Every one of them knows without a doubt that not only do they have the solutions to the problems of our nation and the rest of the world, but they have the means and the will to carry them out. And they tell us this over and over and over, until their words are ringing in our ears. They make promises so far beyond their abilities or the power of the presidency that they sound a little insulting, as they apparently think that if they make appealing promises, we'll believe them, and that will secure our votes.
As Christians, we know very well that there is One to whom we can turn for promises that are kept, and that is our loving Father in heaven. During Advent, we heard of God's promises to his people, including the promise of the Messiah. At Christmas, the promise is fulfilled with the birth of Jesus. We are now learning of the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and how he has given us all that we need in order to live the lives of faith and hope to which we are called. As we listen, reflect, and put into action these teachings, we are given the amazing opportunity to share this promise of salvation and eternal life through the grace and love of God .
"Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds . . . encouraging one another."
Hebrews 10:23, 24
Your friend in Christ,