From the Pastor – January Newsletter Article

Happy New Years, more or less. The past year has been a difficult one with the pandemic, economic downturn, forest fires, derecho, hurricanes, and political turmoil. If Dr, Fauci turns out to be correct, the new year may be much more of the same trouble for us.

We recognize, of course, time does not stop or start on a dime, or on December 31st or January 1st. Instead, time flows without beginning or ending. The concept of time with years and months and days is a construct of the human mind. It helps us organize ourselves in a very practical way.

The past twelve months have been hugely difficult for our human society. The unprecedented and unpredicted COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on everyone. Millions of people had the virus and many people died. I particularly remember my good friend, Joe Taylor, former CEO of the convention and visitor’s bureau, who passed away at the beginning of November of complications related to the virus. He was a good and remarkable individual.

This past Sunday we read in the Gospel of Luke the story of Simeon and Anna who greeted Mary and Joseph in the temple. They rejoiced to see the newborn Christ child and predicted God would act through this infant to save humanity.

Let me suggest you and I ought to view the future through the eyes of Simeon and Anna. By that I mean we too shall see the future as the place where God acts through Christ on our behalf.

Some news commentators argue our society will be irrevocably changed as a result of the pandemic. I am certain in some ways this will be true. Zoom meeting are probably here to stay. More people will continue to work from home. Great advances in medicine have taken place.

Many years pass quietly, almost unnoticed. Can you recall events from 2010 or 2012? I would have to think really hard to remember the major events of one year or another. But a hundred years from now historians will still be talking 2020. The memory of this year has been seared in our minds.

Let us pray the new year will be recalled as the year of great recovery. Hopefully, the political atmosphere of our nation entered a time of common goals, mutual understanding, and reconciliation. We need to pull together and not apart, healing the self-inflicted wounds. Furthermore, let us hope the vaccinations work and we can put the pandemic behind us.

Simeon and Anna saw the birth of Christ bringing about new hopefulness. May we share their hopefulness and may that hopefulness empower us to create a better world in which to live.