A View From the Hill – January

Written by Rev. Ethan L. Larson

On Jan 5, 2021

A year ago I was telling some people that I was looking forward to 2020 because after wearing glasses for 60 years I was thinking how nice it would be not to need glasses any-more or at least for a year. A few people laughed, a few people groaned and a couple of people looked at me as if I had lost touch with reality.

It was one of my bad jokes; being 2020 I was not seriously looking forward to having 2020 vision. 2020 did not turn out to be a year where anyone saw clearly. It is a year that many of us are looking forward to seeing in our rearview mirror.

Many people have talked about 2020 having been an unprecedented year; I have not. The only thing that was unprecedented about 2020 was the nonstop news coverage about the disease. Many other things happened during 2020 that went unnoticed because our focus was on the illness and to a lesser degree the elections.

As with every election this year’s made some people happy, some sad, a few angry and many confused. People wonder if the election process was fair or biased, was there more cheating this year than in the past and a few people are asking if it’s even worth voting anymore.

It has been a year where many things seem out of focus and very unclear. Yet as Christians we stand at the end of the year looking to the New Year, and we do not stand in con-fusion, fear or distress; we may not like how the last year played out, and we may be grieving because of the loss of a loved one, a job, birthdays and anniversaries not celebrated as planned, but we know that this life is temporary; it is ephemeral.

We know that every year is filled with joys and disappointments, but our circumstances do not dictate how we look at the future. The future is in the hand of the God of creation who spoke the world and all that is within creation into existence by the word of His mouth.

We know that Jesus is still our Savior and Redeemer and that our salvation rests in His hands, not in our circumstances. He is still King of kings and Lord of lords.

We can look at the past, looking out through the rearview mirror, with relief or frustration, but when we look through the windshield to the future, we are looking at the unknown, and we can look with hope, despair or any number of emotions, but we need to look to the future with the hope that God has given us. This life and our current circumstances, with its ups and downs, is not what is eternal; it is temporary. What is eternal is the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. His birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection are what made the difference for each of us and will continue to make the difference in the lives of billions of those who have chosen to become His disciples and His brothers and sisters.

Our future is secure not because of anything that we have, are or will do; it is secure because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. He showed us what love is by choosing to come to Bethlehem and from there going on to Jerusalem and the cross of Calvary. He chose to die for me and for you, and He asks us to live for Him and for a few of us to die for Him as well, dying knowing that it will not change our eternal destiny.

May 2021 be the year that you see and know God in ways that you have not known or seen Him before.



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