It is hard to believe that this is it. As of Sunday 2017 will be finished, Monday marks the the beginning of 2018. I trust that you take some time to reflect on all that was and all that is coming. As we reflect we ask ourselves questions like, “Where do we see God at work in the world? in our lives? How is God exposing our fears? Meeting us in our fears? Where are we growing in grace? Where do we need to grow in grace?
Growing in grace is my prayer for Christ Church in 2018. Peter puts it this way, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. ( 2 Peter 3:18).” As we have talked about before this growth has first a depth, may our roots sink deep, and then a breadth, may our branches extend wide. This growth has a focus. The focus is none other than the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the singular focus for the Christian. Saying that in no way limits us or makes us too heavenly minded to believe we are of no earthly good. To the contrary, when our lives are fixed on Jesus, only then will we truly strive against sin and evil, and embrace the world around us with manifestations of his grace. Why? Because we are consumed by his glory, now and forever, not our own. Finally, I say this is my prayer because it is only through the present work of the Holy Spirit that we will experience this growth. Please Lord, open our eyes, our hands, our hearts as we go into this new year.
The Vander Maases are heading out for a spot of vacation later this afternoon. Pastor Steve will be opening the word the next two Sundays. This week we will be returning to the book of Isaiah, chapter 40 as he takes up the theme of "How to soar through a bad year”.