I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break. Our family enjoyed a blessed Christmas, and we are so thankful for the blessings and favor of the Lord we enjoy. The year 2019 has been eventful and full of challenge; it has also offered many opportunities. As 2019 slips away into the past on this New Year’s Eve, one can only reflect on what the New Year will bring.
I am reminded of this verse from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, NASU
Paul declares the Lord had a purpose for him, and he admits he has not yet fully engaged that purpose. Yet, he declares he is resigned to do one thing – to forget the past. It has served its purpose by bringing him to the present. He now is reaching forward and is ready to embrace his future. Like Paul, we can’t relive 2019, but tomorrow is a new day – a new beginning.
As I revisit Roman’s 12:1-2, I am determined to honor 2019, celebrate this last day of the year and prepare for the new year – a year of New Beginnings! The new year will offer many opportunities to reach forward to embrace those opportunities of growth and renewal:
12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. NASU
Join me in celebrating the grace, mercy and faithfulness of our Lord. He has truly sustained us another year, and with His blessing we stand poised to experience 2020 as our greatest year ever. May the Lord bless you and all that is yours in the coming year.
Grace and Peace,
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Harris
President and Dean
Ecumenical Theological Seminary
HAPPY NEW YEAR!