It’s true, 2021 holds the opportunity to ‘Begin Again’! But just as importantly, how you remember 2020 depends on your world view.
On a chilly mid-west Sunday in January, I texted my two sons to relay the hard news that Kobe Bryant’s helicopter had crashed in California, seemingly the rest of the year took its cue from that tragedy. Each day from January forward carried one dark news report after another, culminating in a shut-down of life as we knew it before Spring even got off the ground. Suddenly the eerie phrase of ‘pre-Covid’ captivated our thoughts and emotions as it harkened back to a time reminiscent of the same imagery in the catchphrase ‘pre-911’. As though planet Earth had now veered off course and we desperately needed someone or something to hit a cosmic ‘refresh’ button on the hard-drive of the Universe.
From our vantage point in late December, it’s safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of earth’s population will never want to stroll back down the rocky path we traversed in the previous 52 weeks. Actually, it’s even safer to assume that most would like a total ‘do-over’, minus the virus. But, to write off our ‘we’re-in-this-together’ epic journey entirely, and simply chalk it up to a global tragedy the likes of which are best forgotten… -is to suggest that God will-not, [or cannot], bring ultimate good out of something even as bad as a pandemic. That of course would be a view completely contrary to the Holy scriptures, and definitely not a Christian world view.
In fact, for the “God who causes all things to work together for good…” – to utterly transform the tragedies of 2020 into an enormous win for His eternal Kingdom is exactly in keeping with His nature & character as the truly, Sovereign, King of all things- both the good and bad.
Last week at NH in our exploration of Romans 8:28, we were reminded that for those who love God and are in relationship with Him- the ultimate good that God is accomplishing is yet to be fully understood, only eternity will actually reveal all that He has been doing in our midst. He calls on us as Christ followers to brace ourselves against the constantly moving wave of uncertainty by leaning into the reality that He really is working, shaping and transforming in the midst of our struggles- both the sweet things and the bitter things. The scriptures actually remind us of a truth – “instead of God turning down the heat, He actually turns up the Grace…” – when He reminds us that His ‘Grace is sufficient’ for us during life traumas.
On Christmas Eve we will examine the Interruptions, Disruptions & Opportunities which God brings our way as we look to live out another year. Better hold on, it’s about to be another extraordinary adventure in 2021- but only God knows what it holds for you. He is the very one telling you it can all work out for GOOD, if you will trust Him. 2021 holds the opportunity to ‘Begin Again’!
*If you want to read ahead, we’re going to be in Matthew 1 and Matthew 2 looking at the life of Herod and Joseph in the midst of the Christmas story.