Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's letter

What adventures await us in the new year! We’ve gotten things started with some early winter storms and a white Christmas. We Bohanans just got back from visiting Jesse at Spring Lake Ranch in Vermont. Jesse taught Caleb and I to cross-country ski. (Caleb had done some downhill skiing, but I had never been on skis before.) And, we helped get a tractor out of the mud. (It was in the woods to drag out firewood, and had sunk in a soft patch of earth.) Then, on our trip home, a snowstorm!

The final story of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle is the story of the Wisemen/Magi/Kings. It’s an adventure story: Guided by a star and a promise, traveling probably from modern day Iraq or Iran, asking for direction along the way and without GPS, stirring up a hornet’s nest in the king’s court, fleeing the country in the middle of the night. (Check it out in Matthew 2:1-18.)

As a congregation, we’ve been on quite an adventure in the past year, highlighted by new staff, new Sunday School classes and other groups, new faces. (For an update on our upcoming adventures, please come to the Council Update on Wednesday January 13.) And, in each of our families, we’ve had our share of adventures. Some have been through, or are still in, lengthy periods of unemployment. Others have faced unexpected health crises or surprising developments with children or parents. Some are entering retirement. Some are making new commitments as disciples of Jesus. The scary, the surprising, the challenges, the blessings – all are part of the adventure of life and, for those of us who say "yes" to Jesus, the adventure of following.

Paul described the adventure in these terms:
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:10-14).

God-speed on the journey!
Pastor JP

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