I do enjoy the Christmas holidays, and New Year’s too. What’s not to enjoy about special times with my family, holiday traditions, lots of Christmas goodies, football, and fireworks, and, of course, a few days off. It’s a fun time of year, for the kid in all of us.
But what I dislike the most about the holidays is how much life is put on hold. Because of the busyness of the season, we tend to put off everything during the holiday season, until “after the first of the year.”
I bet I’ve heard that expression a few dozen times since Thanksgiving, and I’ve used it at least that many times myself. With all the distractions–holiday activities, people traveling out of town, etc.–we’ve all learned that it can be fairly frustrating to try to get much done during the last few weeks of December. And so, our whole world comes to a screeching halt of unproductivity while we wait till “after the first of the year.”
Well….after the first of the year is almost here! 2014 awaits around the corner, and that means it’s time to get back in the swing of things and start living intentionally again.
It may be that you want to get a consistent quiet time with the Lord again. Or maybe you’ve planned on getting involved with a small group, helping out with the children’s ministry, or serving at the Firehouse. Or, on a different level, perhaps you’ve planned to go on a diet or exercise program, a financial budget or reading plan. The new year provides a great time to get started.
As a church, it is my desire that the New Year will bring a new momentum for ministry, as we seek to live out our faith and reach out to our community with a new zeal and passion for Christ. That will not happen passively, however. It will happen because we choose to become who we say we are, and because we set in motion the things that constitute living God’s will for our lives.
So as we count down the final days of 2013, I want to say to each of you, “Happy New Year!” And welcome, 2014, the beginning of “after the first of the year.” I believe God has great things in store for us, individually and collectively, as we serve Him in the year ahead. May He truly bless you and prosper you, and continue to grow you up in Him as He grows us deeper in our fellowship.
I’m praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
After the First of the Year