Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As Bill Rogers reminded us in last week's blog, it is that time of year that many of us reflect on the events of the prior year and contemplate ambitious resolutions for the year to come. 2018 was full of joys, celebrations, transitions, challenges and loss, and in the midst of it all God was at work in our lives and in our community. Reflected in the many resolutions being made, 2019 holds the hopes of what the future could be and in these hopes God continues to be at work. The days immediately following New Year's Eve, then, seem to be a time of heightened awareness. We find ourselves more acutely aware of what has been and what could be. An intersection of past and future. But what about today?
As a long time distance runner, albeit a much slower one these days, I have discovered that each and every step is a coming together of past runs and future races. Each footfall landing on the foundation of the past and striding toward the future. Each as easily unnoticed and forgotten as the one before. Unless. Unless I am mindful of the present moment. Attentive to the movement, the motion, the placement of my body in the Now. Without the Now, the past is not celebrated and the future is not hoped for. The Now creates space for the two to intertwine. The Now is where God is creative. The Now is where new life in Christ flourishes. How is new life flourishing in you right now?
Our Christian life is much the same. We tend to feel as though we live among the in-between, just at the moment the foot hits the ground. We're somewhere in between celebrating the historical events of Christ's birth and resurrection, and hoping for that time when Jesus will fulfill the kingdom of God. Jesus Christ invites us to live fully in the Now, building upon the traditions of the past fueled by the hope of the future. Living in the Now is hopeful and joyful work that reveals divine peace and love. Living in the Now is challenging business. Sometimes bound to the past and at others hastily rushing toward the future, we are challenged to appreciate the novelty and splendor of the present moment. How do you take time to appreciate the present moments in your life?
When we look to the person of Jesus Christ we witness the glory and power of presence, of a God who is truly with us. The life of Jesus Christ, who John reports has been since the beginning and will come again to take us to himself (John 1:1; 14:3), is an intersection of all that God has been doing and will do for God's beloved children. Beloved you. Beloved me. Children of God Almighty. In Christ we see one who exists fully in the present moment, tending to the needs of the here and now. Foretold by prophets of old and promising a future kingdom. Teaching, feeding, healing those in the present moment. Life in Christ today calls us to do the same. Celebrate and fulfill that which has come before. Dream and imagine about the hope of the future. Tend to the needs of the world around us. All in the Now. How are you celebrating Christ in your life right now?
As First Presbyterian Church of Valparaiso moves into an exciting and hopeful 2019, take time to celebrate and reflect on the past with one another, share your hopes and dreams for the future with one another, and be sure to appreciate and enjoy the Now.