From your pastor…
Let nothing upset you; let nothing frighten you. Everything is changing; But God remains the same.
Be patient and hope; For with God, you lack nothing.
God alone fills all our needs.
(Prayer of Saint Teresa of Avila)
What a wonderful prayer with which to begin a new year! We are letting go of 2014, and as we approach 2015, many times, we approach a new year with a little trepidation. What does the future hold for us this year? We hope for the best, but we know that each day can bring joy and sorrow, highlights and challenges, even in a 24 hour period. This prayer reminds me of the 23rd Psalm’s first line: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” We go looking in many different places and ways for satisfaction, but what we truly need is the Lord. We were made in the image of our Creator, and when we commune with God, and bask in the light of His love and grace, we are made whole and complete. Whatever the New Year may bring, we can put our hope and trust in God.
Time flies by so fast. This year marks twenty-five years for me serving as a United Methodist pastor. I cannot believe it. If you come and visit me in the pastor’s office at Algiers, you will see twenty-five years of photos, angels, crosses, cups, candleholders, plaques, and all kinds of precious memories that sit on my shelves. When I was a teenager and I felt that God was calling me into ministry as a vocation, I was terrified. Now, as I look back over the last twenty-five years, all I can say, is thank you, Lord. It has been a joy and a privilege to serve You and your church. God has helped me to pastor and to do things that I never believed I could do as an individual. The love of Christ is what motivates me, and sharing that love of Jesus with all the people that I can is why I am continuing to serve as a pastor.
In this New Year, what is God calling you to do? Do not be afraid to try something new! God led Moses and David and Peter and Mary and Joseph and Paul and me, and God will lead you day by day. We can join in prayer as we seek God’s direction for our church, for our community, and for our world in the year 2015. Yes, everything is changing, but God, our Rock, our Refuge, our Redeemer, is the One who alone can fill all our needs.