January 1, 2017

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Advent Devotional | No Comments

Sunday,  January 1, 2017  New Year’s Day
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13; Psalm 8; Revelation 21:1-6a; Matthew 25:31-46
By Pastor Joel Johnson

Something new has happened. Life will never be the same.

I remember the bewildering, exciting days following the birth of our little boy. The first few days were a surreal mix of joy and exhaustion. Soon, the chaos and energy of childbirth began to fade and a new reality began to set in—Megan and I were responsible for every need and concern for our little Henry. We brought home a bundle of overflowing joy and responsibility. Last week we celebrated the birth of Jesus into the world. Like all newborns, Jesus brought about both incredible joy and a sobering new task.

A baby makes the mundane interesting; one can’t help but smile at all the nothing that keeps a little one busy. The very presence of a new life reminds us of things that are good and sweet. Jesus came to be with us in the deepest sense. As Revelation 21 proclaims, the fulfillment of God’s plan is to be forever with his people—to wipe every tear, banish death, and turn sorrow to joy.

Jesus’ presence also calls us to task. When we see the vulnerable and lonely around us, that is Jesus. May we have eyes to see him so that we will hear the commendation of Matthew 25:40, “Just as you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me.” Jesus came as a child—a bundle of insurmountable joy … and responsibility. He is God among us. He is our God and we are his people, including the least and the lonely.

This New Year’s Day, something new has happened. Life will never be the same!