A Message from Pastor Craig: 1-2-2022

You may not have seen the AP news article earlier last month that shared some news about one “Fatty McFatterson,” an unusually large squirrel up in Maine. He, and a lot of animals up North, are putting on extra pounds because of a bumper crop of mushrooms this fall, along with an abundance of beach nuts, hazelnuts, acorns—the stuff of rodent culinary delight.  Google the little dude’s name and you’ll see a picture of him. But apparently, like many of us during the pandemic, a lot of animals have been preparing for winter by packing on some extra pounds—oh dear.

I’ve never been one to make New Year Resolutions, at least out loud. The first January I was a Personnel Director (they call them Human Resources directors now), I saw a rush of employees signing up for the company subsidized gym. It meant a lot more money for us to dish out which made me a little worried. But by March the numbers tapered off and by April we were at the December numbers again. I saw the weakness of the human will, the shallowness of determination in our bodies, and just learned a reluctancy to make any resolutions that I could not keep.

Having said that, I have felt a sense of renewal, a sense of a marker that allowed for new beginnings, whenever January 1st comes around.  And this year is no exception.  I personally have my own Fatty McFatterson issues to deal with. I want to eat healthier, and if not eat less, plus do more exercise.  I want to not just eat healthier, but to BE healthier. My sense is that I am not alone in that.

Part of our health has to do with our souls. So, how do you tend to your soul? Just like any garden, tending to your soul means that you pay attention to it. When you do, you see weeds, the need for water and nutrients, and the fruit.  I want to invite you to take a fresh start at the tending of your soul. What spiritual disciplines might you take on in this new year?  What weeds need to be tended to? The time for soul-tending happens right here, right in church. Sunday mornings are an opportunity to not look at all the stuff around us, but to look up. Looking up uses the muscles of our soul.  Gratitude strengthens the muscle and praises shed off the weeds that hang around us. Bible Study does the same—gathering to pray and sharing life does too. 

I’m looking forward to 2022. We are going to be growing and improving in different ways. I’m looking forward to some technical improvements in the Sanctuary and Gathering Place with video and sound. It will be great when some of our young people will be confirmed in the church after they attend classes starting in January. Other new classes will start and opportunities to gather together will increase. I know the pandemic continues but I am looking forward to even that going away in 2022. No, that’s not a prediction nor is it a resolution. That’s just a hope that we present before God this year and work towards ourselves. That’s all we can do with all of it, right? Present it all to a Good God and move forward in expectation of His continued grace.

God is faithful.  Always has been. Always will be. 

Thanks be to God.

Craig

And let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds.  Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.    Hebrews 10:24,25