When I came downstairs to start my January 1, 2018, Alexa proudly showed off this morning’s temperature: 7 degrees. This cold snap is getting extensive coverage by the local news organizations, notable due to the thousands upon thousands of people who spent their New Year’s Eve penned in outside in Times Square in single-digit temperatures with real feel values much colder than those 9’s on thermometers.
Local news organizations have discussed the issues that these freezing temperatures bring to homeless populations, those living in substandard housing, seniors who may not be able to pay the heating bill, and even to animals.
While we here in northern New Jersey are at 7, many other places around the US are even colder. As my mother would remind my brother and I when we’d complain about the cold, “What do you want? It’s winter.”
Today starts 2018. I have never met anyone who goes into a new year without some optimistic outlook. The blank canvas of the new year provides everyone, especially those of us in the church, with a high chance to make a difference in the lives of people. We can show the righteousness of God in our lives by letting our faith’s lead us, not the gremlins of negativity that can cloud our thoughts and actions.
While not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, I feel that all Christians should challenge themselves to be faithful, courageous, and more trusting in 2018. We should look forward and not back. The light of Jesus Christ must be at the heart of all our goals.
At St. Matthew’s, we’ve challenged ourselves to grow in faith and show our lives in Christ throughout 2018. We want to touch more people with the Gospel, improve our worship life, and provide more people with opportunities to understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We plan to just “do the faith” in words and actions.
A cornerstone of “doing” my part is writing. We, pastors, ask the members of our congregations to use their talents from God to make the church a stronger place. For some reason, God has blessed me with a love of writing. It may not be Ernest Hemmingway or Danielle Steele writing, but God has given me a passion for expressing myself in words. I’m not promising a daily recitation of living the faith or a devotional to spark one’s journey in the Christian life. I’ll just write – mostly good posts about life, posting stories that shine a good light on people. Of course, the New Yorker in me will pop up now and then, where sarcasm will be the norm of that particular day. I’ll try to keep it to a minimum, though I can’t promise anything.
May our Lord bless you as you enter this new year.
Remember – it’s all about faith in Jesus.