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New Year, New...

    01.01.22 | The Shepherd's Voice | by Sam Maconachy

    Confession: New Year’s (or is it just New Year?) is my least favorite holiday. For many reasons in fact. One, I am not a stay up late person. I don’t think I ever was. Once it hits 9PM all cognitive functioning ceases to exist in me, just ask Liz. She has now come to an understanding not to tell me anything important or something I need to remember once it’s past 9PM. Two, it means Christmas is officially over and I have to now move on. I love Christmas and there is a part of me not willing to let it go when its 12 days are over. Three, the New Year means I should now be getting around to taking all the lights off and putting decorations away. Holding off until February is apparently socially “unacceptable.” It’s so much better to get them out than put them back…am I right? Maybe it’s just me. Why is it impressed upon me to stay awake for something I don’t want to be ushered into? It feels forced. Nevertheless it happens every time whether I like it or not.

    So much in life seems that way. Maybe because it simply is. It is a common ground we all share to a greater or lesser extent. That is, whether we plan for it or not, we are ushered into various unpleasant seasons in life. It can be day to day or year to year. Even when we don’t like these things, we can still learn in them with humility and grace.

    A lot of you felt forced over this past year into things beyond your control or capabilities. Frustrating indeed. Probably even disconcerting. Have you learned or grown in any of those situations? Was there a moment of acceptance or are you still caught in reluctance? Maybe that’s my problem with the New Year. I’m reluctant to welcome something I’m not particularly looking forward to. I need to learn better. Be graceful. Above all, I need to get beyond myself, my world and look to Christ. Seek Him out to learn better in things I don’t like and be more accepting / trusting in Him when He allows challenges (day to day, year to year) to happen in my life.

    Are you reluctant about something you’re stuck in that calls you to move on from? Look to Jesus and His death and resurrection, how He has moved us from death into life. What are you having a hard time accepting right now? Seek the Lord and His strength. Is there anything right now that is frightening to you? Draw near to the Lord in His Word and Sacrament where He is readily found. 

    It is Christ alone Who can get us to move on out from our world into His own. Christ’s world, His Kingdom, is one of acceptance, grace, and power.

    Learning together in Christ,
    Pastor Sam

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