Pastor Linda Settles
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Guest blogger: Lea Doyel
For the first blog of 2021, we have a guest blogger, our very own Lea Doyel. If you know Lea, you know that she’s a woman of prayer and deep faith. She has expressed just the right sentiment as we transition from 2020 to 2021, from challenging times to the hope of better times. May this beautiful devotion bless you!
A New Year! A time we often think of as putting the “Old Year” behind us. Really, there isn’t much difference on December 31st and January 1st to me. Not much will change at the stroke of midnight, this year. Thursday will become Friday, but it is not as if some amazing change happens from the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. What has changed? Perhaps it is time to take stock of what was good about 2020 and plan that 2021 can take on some of what we have learned and expand on the good!
For me, I saw generosity grow exponentially! I saw hearts bloom when people saw a need. I saw many people sacrifice personal comfort by wearing masks, washing hands until they cracked and bled, distancing themselves from others even when it hurt. I saw the love of Jesus at Porch Drop and people not involved with our church faithfully give. I heard of doctors, nurses, dietary and housekeeping staff work long and exhausting hours. I was overwhelmed to see God at work, not in a church pew but in the eyes and hearts of those struggling to comfort the dying, feed a family, care for the elderly, provide a Christmas for those who would have none.
Psalm 139 verse 6 says it best: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.” The NSRV has 104 uses of the word “wonder” most of which proclaim God’s amazing works – 2020 was a tough year, but God was at work in people across the world and it was utterly overwhelming!
We have been created in the image of God so let us continue to take these illustrations of living like Christ, allow such works to grow bigger, be more generous, and explode into 2021. Let us live as we have been created – to be the reflection of the Love and Life of Jesus to the World.
Pray! and if necessary, use words. AMEN and AMEN!
Told you it was beautiful! Thank you, Lea, for your thoughtful insight.
Worship with us online this Sunday at 10:00am, at www.umcgt.org, or via phone by calling 562-314-1212, as we bring the year 2020 to a close! I can’t be mad about 2020 because that’s the year that the Lord sent me to the people of Green Trails Church, which has truly been a blessing! We’ll start a new sermon series: Righteous Resolutions. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? For some, you might as well use the ones from 2020! The year that tried us in many ways. This Sunday (Epiphany Sunday) we’ll talk about the gift of the Magi and charting a new course with Jesus.
As I reflect on 2020, I want to thank you for your generosity. You’ve shown me and my husband such care and kindness in our transition from KC, and as Lea expressed you’ve been a blessing to the church and community in amazing ways. I am looking forward to doing great exploits for the Lord in 2021!
May you and your family have a safe and blessed New Year’s celebration!