Another New Year is upon us! Happy New Year! What will your New Year’s resolution be? I pray that each of us resolves to become more faithful this coming year by being more lovingly engaged with our neighbors and with creation. This year by our words and actions may we more clearly express our love for and faith in God.
Of course, we can grow in faith in many ways. Among them we can attend worship regularly… understanding that the focus of worship is not us but is God. As Lutherans we state that worship is not so much about what we get out of it but, rather, what we put into it. We hear God’s Word and we receive Holy Communion and, importantly, we praise God and thank God for all that God shares with us. With worship we develop an attitude of gratitude for the blessings we receive and share.
This year I hope we grow in faith with daily prayer. These prayers can begin the moment we wake up and continue to that time just before we fall asleep. The truth is, we pray for so much! We pray that the Holy Spirit guides us, for the safety of our loved ones, for peace throughout the world. We thank God for meals and the people who prepare them. We pray for deeper and loving relationships. We pray that we are honest with others and that they are honest with us. And, of course, we pray that our Lord will hold us and forgive us.
This coming year we can grow in faith by regularly reading our Bibles and taking Theology Courses. As Christians we believe that God speaks with us through the written Word. We grow in faith as we better understand God’s relationship with humanity. By reading the Bible regularly we grow in our understanding of God’s grace, peace, and love.
We will also grow in faith as individuals and as a faith community this coming year as we continue to give generously of our time, talents, and wealth. Thank you. As we model our acts of generosity, others will join with us. You all know that by being generous we demonstrate the faith we have in God…God who has given us all we have and ever will have.
Please allow me to thank you in advance for the honor to be with you in ministry throughout this coming New Year. Together we will continue to grow in faith.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve Leiser