Today’s Reading:  Click Here  –  Psalm 148; 1 Kings 3:5-14; John 8:12-19 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)   brave

As 2020 rolls to the finish line and a new year awaits, we reflect on all we have experienced; a deadly virus, lock-downs, isolation, mask wearing, unemployment, shootings, BLM protests, a presidential election, and our own personal experiences on what this year has revealed.  As winter frigidly arrives, we find ourselves still experiencing the darkest days of the year, we can rest assure that scripture sustains us and faith remains, even in darkness as a child of God.  Christ proclaims He is the Light of the world. He promises us that as Christ followers we have the Light of Life before us and within us, as our scripture passage today (John 8:12) declares.  What a gift to be shared in these dark and uncertain times.

Jesus’ claim to deity throughout the scripture, demands a response. A response of obedience by following Him.  (James 1:22, John 14:23, 1 John 2:17, Matthew 7:24, Proverbs 10:17) .

As we enter into a new year, this usually warrants some resolutions laced with challenges, and this year brings  its  own alterations rooted by our unsettled and disturbed world.  We read in our 1Kings passage today that, when Solomon was beginning his reign as King, he was seeking guidance.  In a dream God asked him a question, “What shall I give you?”  Wow!  How would you respond?  He could have asked for anything, but in his faithful love for the Lord, Solomon humbly requested an understanding mind, and the ability to discern between good and evil in order to govern well.  What an inspiring and direct request with such a simple plan, to govern well.   We too can pray for that same wisdom that Solomon asked for, the wisdom to live well in these new ways of living that has plagued our nation and is required of us all, when we can step back into our life of normalcy, whenever and whatever that may be.  Until then, we have a choice to seek God’s strength and wisdom in all situations to see the LIGHT ahead, keeping it in focus, always.

A friend shared with me this week that as upsetting and unbearable that 2020 has been, she reminded me of the importance of focusing on the blessings and presence of God.  They are there, we just have to look a little harder for them.  Her heart embraced the blessings of finances, good health, a warm house, return to a job she loves, mind-blowing technology to worship online and keeping in touch with family and friends. This brought me to do the same, looking back through the year to see God in the midst and through every dark corner. I am grateful and blessed.

Today, being December 31st, 2020 , we approach the end of one race as the beginning of a new race unfolds before us, just like that!   We have a choice to make, a choice to choose how we plan to step into the new race of the new year ; with demise and regret from the past, OR  with eyes wide open ready for whatever lies ahead with confidence and trust in an omniscient God with one step and one day at a time?   Bring on 2021, we can AND will prevail!  Our Lord Jesus goes before us and prepares the way through the darkness, with an illuminating Light that we cannot deny.  May we undeniably trust in Him as if it’s the first day of the rest of our life, secure in the Light of the World!  Immeasurable faith, hope, peace, joy and love to you in the coming New Year! Choose Light!

Here are a few songs for your spiritual listening pleasure and Advent meditation:

‘Let The Light In’ by Kari Jobe

‘Best News Ever’ by Mercy Me

‘All Things New’ by Big Daddy Weave

‘Day One’ by Matthew West

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, as we close out this year, sadly being so apart, we light a candle and give thanks for all the gifts and blessings received: health, safety, support, love, family, friends and our forever gracious and loving Lord of Light.  In this new year, may our faith and spirit be renewed to sing praises to you, Lord, who loves and guides us towards your Light.  Light of Life, thank you for your ever saving grace. May we be the bearers of your Light and grace throughout the new year, now and always. In the name of our Lord Jesus, we pray this and so much more. Be still our hearts, AMEN.

Kris