From the Pastor – January Newsletter Article

The holiday season has passed and now we face the reality of snow and sub-zero temperatures in January.

Let’s just say this is not my favorite time of year. Dressing in coat and gloves and stocking cap to clear the driveway is not one of my favorite activities. Snow blowing in my face leaves something to be desired.

I placed several bird feeders in the yard to serve the local wildlife. Yesterday, cardinals, juncos, chickadees, sparrow, and bluebirds all dined on my bird seed. I encourage you to place feeders in your yard. I know squirrels and possum also consume what the birds drop on the ground. That’s fine with me. They need to eat too. We are all in this life together.

I have thought about what we call the new year. As you well know, a new year is an arbitrary trick of the human calendar. A new year could be any day and any time. Time is seamless and constant. We make calendars to get our heads around the progression of time.

Time takes its toll on us. The other day I stopped by Kohls to purchase a sweater and by chance saw myself in a mirror. My image reminded me that time has had its way with me. I will be another year older this summer. Too many years will be both a blessing, but also a reminder of our mortality.

Lately I’ve started keeping a notebook of the names of people I know who passed away recently. Unfortunately, the list is long. Most recently a friend of mine from another church died after an extended illness. He was a year or two young than me. I was very sorry to hear the news. He was a good man, father, and husband. His loss has been devastating for his family.

Every year bring both the fortunate and unfortunate to us. I suppose none of this makes any sense to young folks. For them every year is a new opportunity and a time for growth. A new year means more. But when you reach a certain age your perspective on time changes. We learn to treasure all time, whether good or bad. Some time is better than no time at all.

The purpose of my message is to remind our members not to take anything for granted. No one can predict what will happen in the next few minutes let alone the next year. Value your time and do not waste any of it or even bemoan it. Invest your time wisely in activities that produce beneficial results for yourself and your loved ones.

Finally, let us resolve as a congregation to use our time together to reflect God’s greater purpose for us. Care for one another, even the birds at your feeder. Treat all time as precious. Resolve to bring about good and let the bad and sorrowful go, but with reflection on the meaning of what occurred. We move into the new year with a faith that will produce blessings and keep us attuned to the changes time will bring. Take care and may God bless you, your loved ones, and our congregation.

Pastor Richard Pokora