News Item

Posted on January 1, 2022.

News item—Millions of these items are made EVERY YEAR. If they were actually used, life as we know it would be fundamentally changed for the better!! Yet sadly all but about 8% of them are forgotten! What are these amazing items?? Computers? Iphones? Seatbelts? Bibles? The human brain?
Maybe some of those, but I'm looking at New Year resolutions. That’s right no more than 8% see fruit. Vast majority don’t see the end of January.
At year’s end or beginning, people tend to look back to assess what was done & think about what’s ahead. Good idea. It sure is easy to get off-track: In 1967, experts predicted that by the turn of the century (22 yrs ago) technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, & that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time. Missed that one. Okay, maybe lots of people aren't or haven't worked full time in 2021 because of the virus terror, but that's not the happy cause suggested in 1967.
Time is importan. In Luke 10-- Jesus went to the home of Mary & Martha & Lazarus. He sat down to teach, & Mary was sitting at His feet just soaking in every word. Meanwhile, Martha was out in the kitchen preparing dinner. Now, you know the story. Martha gets upset because Mary is not in the kitchen, too. So she complains to Jesus, "Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," Jesus answered, "You are worried & upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, & it will not be taken away from her" [vv. 40, 42].
Now was Martha committing a sin by fixing a meal in the kitchen? No, of course not! But here’s the problem. She was so preoccupied with what she was doing that she didn’t realize that God was in her living room. That’s the same mistake you & I make almost every day. We get so caught up in the here & now that we fail to deal with the eternal, the things that will last forever & ever.
How appropriate that a New Year follows Christmas. Christmas, THE most significant event in human history—the birth of the one who’d take away our punishment & change our lives for the better. Who’d offer us new life—make us new creations, give us new gifts, give us a new focus for life (Eternity),
The secular, pagan world that tries to live life according to its own puny values without God’s direction or help. But even the pagan world sees that people need to change, to improve, to stop harming themselves & others and stop wasting time. This is the background for most New Year’s resolutions. Awareness of the pass of time & opportunities. To live LIFE--& the desire to do something significant—or at least more. To leave some lasting mark.
New Year is at a different time of year for different cultures & religions. So New Year’s day is a fabrication of a calendar & a need to start the lunar / solar timetable over so we might better order our time. Christmas should change the way we see & use time. For us, a New Year coming hot on its heels gives us a chance to put that Christian view to work right away.
Paul's letter to the Ephesians (5:15) tells us to be very careful how we live. How we spend our time. Does this relate to money? Family? Work? What? Well, yes! To all—and more!
God provides the opportunities to show we are His. It is our responsibility to be alert and watchful, to recognize them and step out into them, trusting God for the wisdom & strength to follow through. That verse also tells us to be wise. Something that is only possible when done with the fear of God. (PR 1:7, etc.) Otherwise, it's the changing, often outright evil “wisdom” of humanity. Certainly, right now we see many people doing & saying truly outrageously un-Godly things from the standpoint of human “wisdoms” like Marxism or phony science used for personal gain.
I don’t want to miss any God-given opportunities in 2022. I want to be awake spiritually. I want to pay attention to what’s happening. I want to know how to oppose the vastly increasing tolerance of evils that would have been unbelievable even 20 years ago. I want to grab the opportunities while they are still opportunities!
The old Latin phrase, Carpe Diem means “Seize the Day!” May you & I do so! Pastor Geoff                                                                                                                                              Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.                                                                                                      Ephesians 5:15-17