Happy New Year!!! 2021 is almost here. For some of you, it is scary how quickly the year 2020 disappeared. But for other people, you cannot wait to turn the page and get this year over with and say goodbye to the year 2020. Since March, life has been turned upside down. Social distancing, masks, at times limited supplies of toilet paper and paper goods, cancelled vacations, zoom meetings and classes, etc., etc., what a year it has been. Who knows what the year 2021 will bring?
In all seriousness, who knows what tomorrow will bring? If you have ever worried or fretted about the future, God has given us a powerful verse in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah to help us through these periods of anxiety. The Prophet Jeremiah had a good reason to be worried about the future. Day by day Jeremiah took a beating because he stood up for God’s truth and proclaimed God’s Word. But God lifted Jeremiah’s eyes up to see the future and to know the truth about what was in store for him.
God said to Jeremiah (just as God as telling us) “ 11For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV Talk about comforting and encouraging words.
God is in control. The corona virus is not in control. Yes, we may have some sleepless nights. And yes, we may have to deal with illness and death and even more cancelled events due to the virus. But these things are passing, God does have a plan for us to prosper. As children of God, we are called to live in His promises and not fret about tomorrow. If we turn to God and ask for His forgiveness for all our sins, we will never be weary even as we experience suffering in our lives.
Because we have Jesus, we have sure hope of heaven. Because of Jesus, we have a future. Because of Jesus, we have been set free from all sin, shame, sorrow, and sadness. Because of Jesus, we do not have to worry about what the year 2021 will bring. Because of Jesus, we can live lives full of compassion and justice today even as we journey through the darkness of this world.
As Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians while in prison, I now write to you as we face the pandemic together, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Blessings to you as we journey together in the Year 2021.