Here Comes 2023


Eric Oswald explained it to me.  I had noticed these grey, green and amber colored boxes on my Facebook friends pages in the morning, but I had no idea what WORDLE was.  So, of course, I asked Eric.  He explains things to me that a person of a certain generation might not understand.

WORDLE is a word game, now owned by The New York Times.  You have six chances to guess the mystery word.  You are given no clues by which to solve the mystery.  Only by trying different words as guesses do you reveal letters and determine their position in the mystery word.  You have six chances to guess before the game ends.  With today’s word, I had all of the letters but didn’t see how they fit together into a word right away.

I bring this up as we enter 2023.  What the new year will bring is unknown.  We will, by experience, make guesses and see what works and what doesn’t work and then see how it all fits together.  We do have something going for us that games like “WORDLE” don’t have.  We have a guide.  We also have a promise.

The promise was given several times in the Scriptures, but I think Jeremiah 29:11 might say it best. The LORD promises that His plan is to prosper His people and not to harm them.  Remember, He makes this promise as the Babylonians are swarming Jerusalem and taking her citizens captive.  We might think Jeremiah got this part wrong or that the LORD misspoke, but we’d be short-sighted. We would be the WORDLE player having all of the letters but not seeing how they fit together.

The promise is, that even as the LORD works through what comes our way feeling like discipline, He is working everything together for our good.  He meets us in whatever we’re experiencing and draws us closer to Himself in Jesus.  Even in Babylon, the promise the LORD made to David was intact as 2 Kings ends with the news that David’s descendants live. Out of that promise kept comes a young couple gathered around a manger in Bethlehem about six centuries later.  He works things, Paul tells us, together for the good in Christ He has in mind for us.

So here comes 2023.  We will have paid down a significant portion of our debt.  We are welcoming about ten more people each Sunday in worship than last year.  Families from the neighborhood are joining us for worship.  People we haven’t met yet are moving into our community and the material and spiritual needs of these people call us into action.  How will these pieces fit together?

We have the LORD’s Word that they will fit together in a way that draws us closer to Him and will be His way to bless and prosper us.  What will that look like?  There may be pieces that we haven’t seen yet, so the fun will be in the discovery. 

Looking forward to …joy in the journey,

Pastor Jeff Shearier

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