St. Paul United Church of Christ
"Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be
in working or in waiting another year with Thee!
Another year of leaning upon thy loving breast,
another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;
another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be
on earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee.”
Frances R. Havergal
Once again, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new year. For some, it may simply mean an opportunity to recover from all the hectic activity of the Christmas holidays. For others, it may mark the end of a year filled with doubt, worry or sorrow.
No matter what the past year sent your way, we each face a new year filled with opportunities, challenges and hope. The days ahead are filled with possibilities limited only by our courage to explore and grow. Perhaps all those “possibilities” seem too much for us, and we feel unequal to the challenge. If such is the case, let me remind you that we don’t face those challenges alone. Part of the Christmas message we heard so recently is that of “Jesus Christ, our Lord Emmanuel”, meaning “God with us.” When we face all that 2017 holds in store, we must do so knowing God is with us and within us.
We may also back away from some of the responsibilities of life because we feel unworthy. That fear, too, has been dealt with. As we began the Advent Season, so we begin the New Year, participating on January 8th in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. As we gather at His table, we are cleansed and refreshed. We are forgiven, and offered a fresh start. Make the most of that gift, and the opportunity it represents.
Much of God’s work remains undone. As the hymn states, we have the opportunity for “another year of service, of witness for Thy love.” Let us continue to gather regularly for worship, so that we may also be ready to go forth in service, wherever and whenever we are called.
May 2017 be a year filled with blessings...and opportunities...for each of you.
Rev. Carl Pelzer