Monday, January 11, 2016

The new year year has come!  This past year was filled with many ups and downs, but through it all God has stood firm.  In light of the new year, I invite you to hear the words of this poem written by Sister Tillie Albright:
I know not what awaits me
As dawns another year; 
The path untrod I cannot see,
Yet knows my heart no fear!
I know not whether long or short
My pilgrimage may be!
I'll daily praise my God in song
For all His love for me. 
With joy I greet the year— 
It cannot bring me ill
Since Christ my Lord is ever near,
My soul with peace to fill. Amen!

Whatever this new year brings for you and yours, my prayer is that your love for the Lord with grow and your faith will mature.  The older I get, the stronger my trust in God becomes.  But this isn’t because I sat idle or went my own way.  The deep peace I feel inside isn’t something that magically appeared and stayed, but rather something that has grown deeper over time.

Just as healing takes time, so too it takes time to grow in our love for the Lord.  And with growth comes change.  A fruitful tree doesn’t simply grow leaves.  It has to blossom and bear fruit to be faithful.  And bearing fruit takes time, nurturing, and careful tending.  We cannot expect a deeper faith simply by proclaiming faith in Christ—we have to make efforts to spend time in God’s word, in prayer, and in the community of faith.  May this new year bring you faith-filled roots that deepen, and fruit that gives joy and love to others.

Faithfully In Jesus,

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Bourne

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