The calendar has changed. 2020 is now in our rear-view mirrors as we head into the New Year. As with any new year, there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty. What will be coming our way? That feeling in us—“inquiring minds want to know”—yearns for control, and lacking that, at least, information. I know I want to be able to plan some things—and plan on some things. How about you?
I appreciate all the more the fact that the church’s calendar is different from “world’s” calendar. We had Advent’s hope and Christmas’ joy in our hearts as the world bid farewell to 2020. Now, as we stand in the uncertainty and anticipation of 2021 with the world, we are in the midst of the Epiphany season. We have the comfort and the assurance that God loves us—even us!—in Jesus. Whatever comes our way in January and February—all of 2021, we have this assurance: God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to show that love is bold and clear ways.
Isaiah invites us in the Old Testament lesson for Epiphany to “look up and see” what the LORD is doing as He shines His light onto the path we walk going into the New Year. “Looking up” means looking up from your immediate tasks and concern, from those things that are screaming for your attention—that seem so immediate—and see what God has done for you in Jesus and what He continues to do for you because He loves you.
In our family, we jump into the New Year. Literally, we jump. Okay, since I lost my balance a year or two ago jumping off the hearth, I watch the kids and grandkids jump. There’s a hope and a confidence in jumping. For us—you and me—that hope and confidence are wrapped up in that Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths in Bethlehem Who left behind the grave cloths in the open tomb. Whatever’s coming in 2021 can’t undo what He has done.
Let’s jump together!
Pastor Jeff Shearier
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.
24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. -John 8:31-36