Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
And so it is that 2022 will slip rather silently into the unchanging pages of history. Its story has now been written; the year will not be revisited or relived. It is history. We will remember 2022 as a difficult but remarkable year.
2022 was the year when the pandemic ended, and a war in Eastern Europe began. We witnessed the funeral of the longest reigning monarch in British history, and the ascension to the crown of one who had waited a lifetime for the opportunity to be King.
2022 gave us a magical summer with the Mariners, and a fall that brought unexpected good fortune to the Huskies and the Seahawks. It was a year of rising gas prices, interest rates, and a rather gloomy stock market. Despite that reality, the people of TLC gave away more money than ever before. We paid our bills, subsidized the Preschool, and took care of staff and our church home. In addition to all of that, we gave away $9,135 a week, every week, every one of those 52 weeks. We fed the hungry, we provided assistance to refugees, immigrants, college students, local charities, and those devastated by natural disaster.
2022 will be gone at midnight tonight. Thanks for the memories and good riddance. I am hoping to make it to the stroke of midnight to welcome 2023. The fireworks will illuminate the sky, the champagne will be poured, and there will be a kiss or two for good luck. Optimism will hold sway as together we will set out to write a story on the blank pages of 2023.
I am optimistic as the first day of the new year approaches. I believe that 2023 is going to be a challenging but fantastic year. My optimism is not rooted in the nightly news, the promised second coming of Jesus, or the unrealistic hope that human nature will suddenly change for the better. My optimism finds its foundation in the promises of God and in the people that will surround me in 2023. I am inspired each week by your love, service, devotion, and generosity.
Individually, each of us is rather ordinary, but as a community we are extraordinary. Working together in faith we can do extraordinary things in 2023. We can hold each other when sorrow comes, we can carry those who can’t carry themselves, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus on Whidbey Island and in the world.
We are authors called to write history together and that opportunity begins again at midnight. Say your prayers, give thanks, trust God, stay close to those you love, and be optimistic for the year ahead. God is with us, as we are in this together.
Happy New Year and thank you for sharing the journey of faith and doubt with me.