This is my last Gracevine article of 2019, and I have been thinking about what words sum up this year for me. I am ending the year with a heart that is surprised, full, and very grateful. When 2019 began, I did not anticipate the many blessings that have come to pass in my family life. I did not anticipate a merger with another church. I did not anticipate the many staff changes that we have had here at Grace.
There were times during the year when I felt anxious and overwhelmed, but looking back I am amazed at how God has provided for us through every change. This really should not be a surprise, because throughout my life I have seen God’s grace provide for me consistently. Back in 1983, when I was a freshman in college, I remember having a particularly tough week. At the time I thought my problems were insurmountable. A college friend confidently told me that regardless of my concerns, “God will provide.” That was exactly 36 years ago, and I still think of his words that day. He was right. God has provided, and still does provide.
Friends, when you come to worship this Sunday and Christmas Eve, use the time to reflect on your year. How has God been faithful in your life? Where have you seen God’s hand in the circumstances of your life? The best gift that we can offer Jesus this Christmas is to commit to trust Him more in 2020. Are we willing to demonstrate our faith by taking chances in order to serve God’s kingdom? What are the concrete goals we can set in order to live more faithfully?
This is a great church community! It is honor to serve as one of your pastors. Merry Christmas and may God richly bless you in 2020. Remember, we are all the hands and feet of Christ on earth. – Pastor Steve Hart