It’s that time of year again – the beginning (some might say the Genesis…also just a reminder, time to start that Bible reading plan!). And with New Years’ Day, comes traditions of all types. By the time you receive this newsletter, some of you have eaten country ham while others tapped champagne glasses full of various beverages (that’s for another newsletter) and still others were in bed by 8pm as if nothing happened. I’m actually writing this article at 6pm on New Years’ Eve, so we will see what my night holds. But with as much as I’m yawning, I may not see midnight (also, if I don’t turn this into Linda on time, I may not see 2020).
Whatever happens tonight though, I can still reflect on the fond memories of the New Years’ Eves of my childhood. When I was a boy, we were always at the beach during Christmas, and that would include New Years’ Day. (Also, yes, the beach is cold at winter time, and yes, you can’t swim, and yes, you can walk but you just have to wear a jacket – that should cover all your questions.) About 11:30 pm every New Years’ Eve, we would head down to the beach to shoot off legal-ish fireworks. It was always a blast 😉 and part of the fun was all the other folks who would come out to cheer, shoot off fireworks themselves, or just watch the spectacle. But beyond all that, when I look back, I think what I enjoyed most was being with my family. Mom would usually wave at us from the balcony (also, someone would have to be available if we went to jail), while my dad, brother, and I did the lighting. It was really special to be able to celebrate the blessings God had given us in the past year and to celebrate the New Year ahead.
You know, scripture has a word to offer about new things. In fact, when it comes to what God is doing in us who know him, 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Through God’s Spirit in us, and through the revelation of His Word, He is molding us and shaping us to be more like Him. Every day that we pursue Him, and every year we resolve to grow in Him, He is changing us, shedding our old ways, and making us new day by day. And, like my family on the beach, we have cause to celebrate together. Because while He grows you, He grows me too, and we grow together as a family.
This January marks one year since our Senior Pastor retired. It has been a year of blessing and challenge, uncertainty and trust. It has been a year of growing. Together, as we have sought Christ, sought his word, and sought his will, he has grown us and shaped us to look more like Him. Along with this growth, has come sustainment of our culture, and changes that draw out our best. It is this model that will make us more like Christ in the days ahead: Sustainment and Change. As we begin 2020, I ask that you begin with a prayer - not only for our search process, our church family, and so on – but a prayer for you. That you will be the kind of man or woman, boy or girl, that will hold fast to the principles of God’s Word, and be faithfully willing to do so, no matter what changes are needed. Even in your own life – even in our own church. Because it’s in a place where we are willing to grow that Christ can and will indeed make us new and make us more like Him.
Check out the inside of this newsletter for all the great opportunities our church family has in January. Make a point of renewing your commitment this month to Christ and his Kingdom. 2020 is going to be another special year in the life of Starnes Cove, and now is a time for new things. So, make a new decision to stand by your family as Christ makes us new.
With great love and faithful prayers for you and our SCBC Family, William