Looking to 2022 with Hope

Since March of 2020, it seems that church life has been set back many years, and that the momentum we had gained over the course of 5 years of efforts working together stopped suddenly.  Since the COVID19 pandemic began, we have been bombarded with political controversy after political controversy in the government, we have been witness to social unrest and protests and riots, cities burning, and many people injured or killed. and on top of all that, we have been forced to fundamentally go about our daily lives differently than ever before for fear that we could catch or unknowingly spread a virus that could potentially kill others.

But over the past two years, while we are still trying to rebound from all that has happened.  we can look forward with hope.  not so much hope in the government, I don't  know if that would ever be a wise place to place anyone's hope, not hope in our culture, because after all cultural movements are not usually grounded in the way of Jesus Christ, but grounded in pushing the boundaries of morality; but seeking a renewed hope in Jesus Christ.

I recently updated our church sign and it says "Hope ties us to the future; Memory holds us in the past." If we only remember the bad things, we will never be free to live in the hope that is tomorrow.  We have to learn how to let go, forgive, and look to where Christ is leading his flock to be in ministry and service for his glory.

When I look around, I see a lot of hurt, people who have lost loved ones from COVID19, people suffering financially because of the ridiculous inflation rate, and those who suffer from brokenness in their life due to broken relationships, hardships, addiction, abuse, violence, wars, depression....the list can go on and on.  this is why we have to look to the new year with hope rather than to hold onto the memories that tie us to pain and hurt.  

Isaiah 40:28-31  
"Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

2022 is a new year, a new opportunity to realign our hearts to the heart of God, to seek to live God's way verses t he way of the world.  That is something to be hopeful of, because the opportunity has not closed its door on us yet.  Arise, fill your lungs with the breath of God, and find your enthusiasm once again in the Lord.  Because it is time to rise and proclaim that God is doing something! It is salvation and healing the brokenness of our lives. Praise be to God.