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January - Pastor's Message

posted Jan 9, 2015, 5:02 PM by Karen Lindsey   [ updated Jan 9, 2015, 5:03 PM ]

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 

Thoughts on a HAPPY NEW YEAR . . .

It's always fun to open up a fresh calendar at the beginning of the year. The pages are blank and remind us that the year ahead is so full of possibilities. Now is the time to fill those pages with activities and events that will enhance life in the coming year. Have you thought about what you might add to your routine that will help you grow in faith in Christ in the year ahead?

A New Year is also a good time to eliminate activities, routines and behaviors that do not enhance life and faith. What behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, relationships and habits have gotten in the way of growing in Christ? Or, what behaviors, thoughts, relationships and habits need to experience renewal through the power of the Holy Spirit?

As a Christian -- one who is "in Christ" -- we don't need to limit ourselves to changing course at the beginning of a year. The Holy Spirit tugs at our consciences and the Lord helps us make the necessary course corrections every day and at any moment of every year.

That is because through baptism we have been raised to new life through Christ's death and resurrection. Paul writes in Romans, "Don't you know all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Rom. 6:3, 4)

Because of Emmanuel ("God with us") and the Incarnation (God breaking into human history, becoming a human being and sharing all that humans struggle with in life) we can have that new life; we can be that new creation the Apostle Paul spoke about so often. It's through baptism that the old creation is wiped out, gone, and a new creation is born.

We are made new in Christ but we still live in a sinful world where we all experience our fair share of tripping and falling down. Let me illustrate with something that happens to me every January. I know it's a New Year -- 2015. But I still find myself writing 2014 on checks and forms that require a date. It takes a while to get the hang of remembering this is 2015!

I know that I am a new creation in Christ but sometimes I forget Whose I am. But the good Lord never forgets us! He gave us physical life and made us a new creation in baptism. And He renews us constantly through the reading and teaching of His Word. He renews us by forgiving our sins and letting us share in fellowship with Him and with each other. "Out with the old, in with the new", as the saying goes.

As we begin a New Year it's a good time to remember that Christ has made us a new creation and His renewal in our lives is a daily gift.

Blessings in 2015!
Pastor Lori