Dear Elmwood Family and Friends,
I pray you have all had a wonderful season of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Kai and I want to say thank you to everyone who sent cards, goodies and gifts. We certainly appreciate your prayers, kind wishes and gifts of love.
Now we turn our attention to the New Year before us. It reminds me so much of stepping outside after a fresh snowfall and being the first to leave foot prints in the sea of white before me. There is something about the beginning of a new year that is invigorating. There really isn’t any difference between December 31 and January 1, but in our hearts and minds it is a fresh start. As the Apostle Paul declares, “the old has gone (passed away) and the new is here (has come).” Specifically Paul is talking about when a person becomes a disciple of Christ, a believer, the old sinful nature passes away, it is washed away by the blood of Jesus, and we are born again by the Spirit into a new life in Christ. That is what he means when he says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.” He is not talking about the new creation that is coming at the second coming of Christ. Amazingly, he is talking about what takes place deep inside of us when the light and love of Christ comes into the core of our being. We are transformed from darkness to light, from eternal death to eternal life. All of this has tremendous bearing on how we live our lives, how we walk into the newness of a day or of a year. Do we go into it with regret and sorrow, dragging the chains of our sin and brokenness along with us, or do we look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith? As the hymn writer challenges us to do, do we “turn our eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face”? Do we quickly go to the cross and confess our sin, pour out our failures, our hopelessness, sorrow and discouragement there before our Savior and receive the washing and forgiveness that comes from the power of His victorious and holy blood?
Yes, beloved, the old actually does pass away and we can walk into the uncharted New Year with confidence and boldness because we are not alone, that the Lord Jesus actually goes with us and is a light onto our footsteps.
I am excited about the New Year that is before us. I expect to see good things, wonderful things, and amazing things happen in the lives of the Elmwood people, because we are by His grace in Christ and therefore the new creation has come.
It’s time to head out into the adventure that waits before us.
Together with you, in Christ Jesus our Lord,
PS Don’t forget to stop and have some fun along the way. Remember what it is like to make snow angels and look at the beauty of God’s creation around you. Or look at a snowflake (yes, they will come again J ) and marvel at the creative glory of God.
Pastor's Corner >