Reflections from Pastor Anna: January 2013
Read entire January 2013 newsletter, click here to download.
Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
We often say that life is a journey. Each January we are offered a new opportunity to pause and to see where we have been and to ponder how that journey has been for us: What kind of wisdom we have gained during the past year; what situation challenged us and why; were there any affirmations? How about blessings that didn’t get our attention?
Marking an end allows us to learn how far we are in our journey and to refresh our vision for the future before stepping on to the untrodden path: a new beginning. It is my tradition (from the East) to have such a moment in the beginning of new year so that I can embrace the coming year a little more focused and directed.
Each January offers us an opportunity to clear our vision. Surprisingly, when we look to the Bible, we learn how much God desires new beginnings for us. God constantly refreshes, renews, heals, blesses, clears what has become blurred, restores what has died and recovers what has gone astray. I can almost picture such a God’s desire for us in the words of prophet Isaiah: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not
perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18-19)”
Jesus always presents this God as a deeply loving one who always gives another chance, waits for our return starting a new life in him, and with him. January is such a good time to deliberately reflect where we are in our individual life and our life together and set our steps forward to begin again. As we look at our journey together, I trust we will not miss the opportunity to rejoice over the gift of another year given to us and be thankful for the new possibility for sharing the Good News in our world.
Saturday, January 26, 2013, you are all invited to come to our All Church Retreat. We are going to set our ministry goals for the year and plan together to put our dreams into action. When Jesus called his disciples, he was not looking for perfect people, but for ‘willing hearts and yielding human spirits.’ To make this day fruitful, we need your presence, input and prayer. Whether you are elected leaders, ministry team members, or recent visitors, come and join us. You will be inspired and re-focused in your individual life and the life together as the community of faith for this new year.
This year, I invite my friend, Karen Young, who works for Salvation Army as a regional trainer, to lead the Bible Study as we open our morning. I pray that the year 2013 would be wonderful, fruitful year for the Friendship Church in becoming a blessed community, experiencing the joy of being carriers of the Good News, God With Us, at all places, at all times.
In joy of serving God and God’s people,