Sometime in the middle of January I realize how long it takes to fully enter another year. More than once, I catch myself writing the incorrect date, January 15, 2019. It takes several weeks before I am able to write 2020.
The passing of time can feel awkward, but we are at our best when we embrace it! We can embrace each new year and every new beginning as a gift of grace. God’s grace provides fresh starts and new opportunities. We can enter the year with expectations of hope and joy!
Strangely enough, one way to look forward is to look back with gratitude. We look back at 2019, and we are grateful for the commitment of Auburn First Baptist. We are thankful to have served and celebrated together! Each of us might name moments of grace personally, where we felt supported in a time of need, found clarity when it seemed elusive, or watched a loved one grow in his or her faith.
We can also give thanks for collective moments of grace, as we served the needs of the vulnerable through Loaves and Fishes, hosted a baby shower for the Community Market, or served at Campus Kitchens. We could mention our Children’s Choirs, Youth Sunday, or college students packing the Jail Ministry boxes. We are thankful the church gave $92,763 to missions last year!
We now turn our attention to the year ahead, recognizing God’s grace is still at hand. We can enter this year by making commitments to one another. We can make a commitment to serve and give to the mission of the church. We can make a commitment to read the newsletter or pray for the concerns of the congregation. We can make a commitment to get to know others in the church, help with the nursery on Sunday morning, or reread one of the gospels.
These are simple commitments, which connect us to one another and to God’s grace. As we enter another year, we can remember that our faith engages this world. We engage this world through simple commitments that build and serve community!