It's Janus Time

"The problem with most people is that they are not up to anything significant.”
-- Walker Percy

I love the beginning of each new year. It gives me the opportunity to do some course correcting and even to remake myself into more the person I've always wanted and intended to be. Janus, for whom many believe this month was named, was the Roman god who had two faces--one looking to the past, the other facing the future. In late December I am always looking back and evaluating what has happened--but now, with the turning of the calendar page, my eyes and heart are facing forward.

In 2021 my chief end will be "to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever," as the Westminster Shorter Catechism says. To honor Him in what I think and in what I do. My mind and spirit, my body, my resources, and time—all surrendered to Christ.

I began pastoring a church exactly 48 years ago this week--in January 1973—while still a freshman in college. I had no experience, obviously, and little of the knowledge necessary for the task. But the people of that very fine church were kind and patient. I guess they could see that the one thing I did have in abundance was enthusiasm. I realized even then that the most important thing in life was to serve the LORD and to build His church.

And I knew that I did not want to waste this one life that I had been given. I started at it early and have stayed late.

We have now completed renovation and construction at FBCA. Our large task in this new year is to re-gather and rebuild the church itself. As soon as it is possible, to have many hundreds of our folks back at the facility on King Street. Strengthening and encouraging each other on Sundays and Wednesdays and then scattering out again over the city during the week. Both are essential for a healthy church: the gathering—and then the scattering.

Of course, we do not know how much longer this pandemic will rage—and we do want to be safe and not put anyone at risk. The first part of this year is going to be very like most of 2020, I'm afraid. But gradually, as things improve and safety restrictions lift—we will embrace this significant challenge.

I will be giving my all to this work, and I invite you to join me in, too.

ON A SEPARATE NOTE:  Like you, I am saddened and disappointed by Sherry Graveson's decision to leave us and return to the organist position at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. We had hoped that she would play for us for many decades to come. But she believes this is God's will for her life (Proverbs 3:5,6) so all we can do is release her and bless her as she goes.

The LORD will provide someone for us-- of that, I am sure.

Again, I come back to my customary New Year's toast, from Dag Hammarskjold--

"For all that has been, Thanks. For all that will be, Yes.”
 
 A perfect Janus sentiment.

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