December 31

Keep far from a false charge.  Exodus 23:7.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  Philippians 4:8.

 The writer of Philippians has given us a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution, to think only about what is good and pure and worthy.  Could we keep that resolution, as commendable as it is?

A new year begins for us tomorrow.  What will be new and pure and excellent about it?  The old stares us in the face, unrest in the world, chaos in our national government, starving children, homeless people, diseases, weather disasters, on and on.  We must think about these things if we hope to make a difference in the lives of people. 

Our congregation boasts a new member, born in September.  A babe in arms, he joins another boy about a year older who is joyfully exploring his surroundings on pudgy little legs.  Both have a parent who leads us in worship. If there is an appropriate word for the futures of these two babes, I would choose hope.

Hope that they will both grow strong and healthy, hope that they will be the future of our church. 

Hope is what we need as we face this new year.  Hope, instilled in us by a loving God who knows what we need as imperfect beings in this imperfect world.  “And this hope will never disappoint us because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts.”

Romans 5:5.

Happy New Year.  Be at peace.

Loving God, help us to face this new year with confidence in your promises.  Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us each day.  We long for peace and justice in our world.  Give us what we need to do our part.  Amen

Joan Perlich