Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash 

Dear Servants of the King,

Happy New Year! I know we’re barely past Thanksgiving and Christmas is still a few weeks away. But the Advent season is the start of a new year - the new church year. “Happy New Year!”

On new year’s we remember the past year while looking to the future. First, we take stock of all God has given us – thanking Him for His abundant provision and for the strength to endure the hardships we’ve encountered. Then we look forward in hope to the future and how we can better use the time, talent, and treasure God provides to us each day to serve Him and His creation.

The new church year begins with Advent, a season of waiting for the coming of Christ and the hope He brings. For many, the focus of their waiting is Christmas. However, for Christians, we know Jesus has already been born. What are we hopefully waiting for? His return. As we wait, we hope. In His return, Jesus will deliver on the hopes Christians have had, and still have, since Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:6-11). We live in hope, knowing He’ll return to bring all who believe Him into His kingdom forever.

His promise is found in His word; delivered by prophets like Jeremiah, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah …  In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely” (Jeremiah 33:14, 16). As God’s people today, we are the new Jerusalem. We are the inheritors of this promise. We live in the sure and certain hope that God will fulfill this promise just as He has fulfilled all His promises.

This new year we continue to wait. We wait in hope trusting God’s promises, knowing He’ll return. God has promised to save us. Jesus, born over 2000 years ago on the first Christmas, will return to save us. And when He does, our hope will become our reality. Happy New Year!

                                                                                                        Waiting Hopefully,

                                                                                                        Pastor Jim