Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Christmas Cheer—And Our New Year
Now that we’ve crossed the divide into 2018 perhaps we might risk a personal glance through the rear-view mirror to 2017.
What kind of year was it for you?
How would you characterize it?
Was yours a dazzling year crowned with so many positive outcomes and joys that you can hardly wait for more of the same, so you eagerly lean into each new day?
Or, did the year bring you inconvenient troubles, severe trials and deep losses; a year you’d rather forget but can’t?
Does it seem that consequences continue to dog your path and you know that you’ll have to live with and through them day by day with foreboding and trepidation?
Let us reflect back on the central theme of Christmas that, in the coming into the world of Jesus —the Christ Child, God has come to humanity—has come to you, me and us.
Jesus, meaning, the “Lord is Saviour” or “. . . salvation” for He saves “his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11), is also called Emmanuel, meaning, “God with us” (Mat. 1:23).
Personally, I don’t know what 2018 may bring or whether I’ll even live to see all of its days (although I hope I do). Likewise, nobody knows that score regarding their own life—not with absolute assurance, anyway.
It’s wonderful and a great comfort for me to know that my sins have been dealt with by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross; I’m forgiven—reconciled to God. I have an assurance that I belong to Him and that in Jesus, as Emmanuel, God journeys with me when things seem to be going just great, and also when life’s road is rough and the going is tough.
He’s promised to be with His spiritual children and will never leave them, nor will He forsake them (Hebrews 13:5). Therefore God is with me, even if I happen to feel all alone. These are marvellous gifts of His amazing grace.
Is this also your hope, your experience and relationship with God, because of Jesus? Let us embrace Him and hold fast to these understandings by faith and in trusting Him as Emmanuel—God, who is with us, while we step out and onward day by day.
Thought for Today’s Journey
Christ, who is the Lord of Christmas cheer
Is also Christ the Lord of our New Year.
Peter A. Black is a retired pastor – well, sort of retired – and lives in Southwestern Ontario. He writes a weekly inspirational newspaper column, P-Pep! and is author of Raise Your Gaze ... Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart, and Parables from the Pond -- a children's / family book. ~~+~~
One of the characteristics of acreage-living is self-sufficiency. One is responsible for the water supply, septic system, and garbage di...
The belief that there is no free will is a much more dangerous myth, he writes, at Mind Matters Today: There are four reasons to af...
For better or for worse, Facebook connects people. On the better side, it provides valuable insights into others. Understandings we didn’t...
At one of the schools I taught at in Trinidad the VP asked if I’d open the staff meeting in prayer. I was happy to do so. At the end of the...
John Newton in Africa By the Rev. Dr. Ed & Janice Hird A violent storm was the turning point in John Newton's life. His godly...
Here's a piece from a new blog I write for, Mind Matters Today: Sherry Turkle, an MIT social scientist who has spent thirty years stu...
How true it is that we often do not see the forest for the trees. We are so close to the trees that we are unaware that we...
silent auction table Yesterday I arrived at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre for the Refocus writers ’ retreat. What a treat...
These past few months I’ve been teaching yung'ns how to blow Hubba Bubba bubbles. Firstly, how to chew the big wad of gum until it f...