God Is Present in the New Year
Happy New Year! Many people wonder what it’s going to be like in the year ahead. Sometimes we look ahead with joy and excitement. At other times we are apprehensive. We often worry about what the future may bring. However, one thing is certain. Our future is in the hands of a loving God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).”
There were many times when God’s people, the Israelites, worried about the future. As they began their exodus journey the people complained to their leader, Moses, saying, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?” Moses replied, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” From that moment on Moses raised his staff and the Israelites crossed over the Red Sea on dry land. The waters separated, the enemy was destroyed, and the Lord led them on in a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day (Exodus 14). God was present with His people in a real, physical way.
Today, as we move on to a new year, we may wonder about a number of things- the economy, war, unemployment. Yet, we know that as surely as our Lord was with His people long ago, He is with us still today. In a real, physical way, God is present with us in His Word and Sacrament. In the water of Baptism and in the bread and wine of Holy Communion He assures us that He is with us always, to the very end of the age. He says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8).” God bless your journey into the new year! (Pastor Michael Walther, December 2003)