E-pistle December 31

Auld Lang Syne
Guy Lombardo made the tune a New Year's tradition for two generations. 
The old Robert Burns poem asks the question rhetorically, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?"  The answer is "no."  We should remember old acquaintances and bring them to mind from time to time. 
What and who made your acquaintance in 2008?  This past Sunday Psalm 126 and some of you helped us take stock of our old-year acquaintances.  We heard about how some of us made the acquaintance of new family members (babies born and brides or grooms welcomed).  Some got to know success and opportunity while others met job loss and discouragement.  Some became familiar with new places and others rediscovered old loves. 
Each of us will judge 2008 in our own ways.  For some it will have been a very good year and for others not so good.  But whatever these 366 days (it was a leap year) and one second may have brought, they should not be forgot.  God was present in every one of those 31,556,926 + 1 seconds, which means that every second of 2008 had a meaning and a purpose that God breathed into it.  We may not know that meaning or purpose this side of glory, but it was there. 
As we move from 2008 to 2009, from old year to new year, we should make it our aim to be more aware of and sensitive to God's always-there presence not matter whose or what's acquaintance we make. 
As for me, I am delighted for the new LPC acquaintances that are quickly become old and beloved acquaintances.  It's been great to get to know the worship life and mission passion of our congregation.  What a joy to both literally and figuratively feel the warm embrace of this congregation.  Both Becky and I consider ourselves richly blessed. 
In 2009 I want to be on the watch for God's vision for our congregation as we move closer to the second decade of the new millennium.  I'm hoping to be willing and ready to move when he points us in a different direction or towards a new goal. 
Included on my prayer list for finding God in early events of the year are:

  • Session Planning Day on January 10 – what are our next steps as we move towards being simply the church he wants us to be?
  • The Men's Retreat – what's God's claim on the men of LPC?
  • The Guatemala Mission Trip in January.  I will join 15 other LPC folks for a week with Promised Land Ministries.  Into what kind of partnership is God calling us, anyway.
  • A personal trip to Brazil in March.  Becky and I will celebrate the college graduation of an amazing young friend whose story is a story of marvelous grace.  What else is God calling us to do among these people we have come to love?
  • Day by day obedience to the things already clearly set on my heart and those yet be written. 

The old acquaintances are many a varied, and not yet ready to forget them because they still have God's stories to tell.