27 Dec

January Pastor’s Pen

For some of us, it is unfathomable that we are entering the year 2024. Just yesterday, people were preparing for the end of the world with the Y2K bug. In this potential programming flaw, technology-dependent industries and products would fail when the calendar turned from December 31, 1999, to January 1, 2000. If all this was true, would the world welcome utter destruction like we welcome the New Year? The Line Islands, Samoa, and Tonga, in the Pacific Ocean, are the first places to see the New Year because of their time zones. Would they be the first to see the end as well?

In the end, there were very few problems. Countries such as Italy, Russia, and South Korea had done little to prepare for Y2K. They had no more technological problems than those countries, like the U.S., that spent millions of dollars to combat the problem.

There is wisdom in looking ahead, being prepared, and staying alert. But there is also wisdom in staying present, keeping perspective, and not future tripping. Future tripping comes from anxiety, and it feeds anxiety. Worrying about what might happen tomorrow strips us of the joy and gift of the present. We make poor decisions in life when we make them from places of fear.

As the calendar turns, some welcome a new year and all the possibilities. Others dread what might await us as individuals, as a nation during an election year, and as a world with wars and world leaders unable to come to the table for the good of the world.

God asks us to be people of faith and trust in God, to surrender our fears about the future. We are commanded to actively work in the present for the glory of God and the good of the world, believing it impacts the future. But we trust the outcomes and tomorrows to God, knowing God is faithful and with us, always working towards the redemption and restoration of the world.

I don’t know what 2024 will bring. I know what I hope it will bring. May we work together to announce, seek, receive, and bear witness to the kingdom of God in unique and holy ways in the present while we trust God with the future. May we be people of faith, not fear, in this new year and beyond.

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