Happy New Year! What a delight to be able to begin a new year on the Lord’s Day. To start this year with our hearts and minds set on worship is a blessing. To enter this next chapter freshly forgiven, with the sins and sorrows of the past year discarded behind us, is a gift.

But let us remember, as we move forward in 2017, every day belongs to the Lord. As His children, we receive the gift of His grace and redemption every time we ask for it. Let us use the opening of a new year to remind us to embrace His grace and claim the victories He has secured for us, not just on the Sabbath but on every day.

May this be a year of hope. When we work together as the body of Christ, we are capable of great and glorious deeds – deeds that shine light into dark places, that feed those who hunger in body or soul, that erase pain, doubt, and shame to show that, with God, all things are possible.

May this be a year of peace. Let us always put love first. When we set aside anger and discord, when we forgive each other, we draw closer to God and to our brothers and sisters. May we strive to listen, to understand, and to recognize our common bonds as the children of God so we can work together for His glory.

May this be a year of miracles. Let us set aside fear and become bold warriors in prayer, praise, and service. Let us open our lives to the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit work may work through us to bring about those things we barely dare pray for, those things which the Lord who love us will provide.

Above all, may this be a year in which the Lord reigns supreme – in our hearts, in our lives, and in our world. May we serve Him with every thought and deed. May we show Him to those who are closest to Him and to those who pass us on the street. Let us thank Him for our fresh start, today and every day, all year long.

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
Colossians 3:9-10