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Wrapping up and prepping

I just finished the blog that went out last Friday for Christmas. I then completed the Christmas Eve message I shared on Sunday in a Christmas Eve morning service at a local church. I have already started on the message I will bring on Sunday for New Year's Eve. So as I sit here, I am reflecting on this past year and thinking about what the next one will be like.

I think we can all agree that we are living in a world that is much different than the one we may have grown up in as kids. Change is inevitable but not all change is good. So with that thought, I started searching the web for ideas or thoughts from others on the subject. Honestly, that didn't last too long before I was able to determine that it was not necessary to tell you what someone else might have said but rather what I believe the Lord would have me say to you today.

You see as we go through life we find that some things simply don't work. They never have and they never will. Effort and sweat may go into it but the result will always be abstract failure. We see this throughout history as man tries to accomplish what cannot be accomplished. It has been noted that repeating the same failure over and over is the definition of insanity. That being the case, welcome the New Year and the insanity that will follow.

Now I want to be and try to be an optimistic person. I know I have my pessimistic moments but I work to being optimistic. Now if you just thought to yourself that you are the same way, then now I feel a little better because I now know I am not alone.

We are living in what can be described as a post-Christian era. One in which how many of us were raised is not as prevalent as it once was in our country. We have lived as a country that our history, up until now, was a Judeo-Christian nation. It was German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who introduced this terminology in 1888. His book The Antichrist: Curse on Christianity, used the term "Judeo-Christian ethic" about the Jewish roots and identity of the early Christian church, but it wasn’t used to speak of a common set of morals until much later.

Historian Thomas Cahill, in pointing out the common themes of Christianity and Judaism, said,

“The heart of the Torah is not obedience to regulations about such things as diet—what one may eat, whom one may eat with, how one must prepare oneself beforehand—but to tzedakka, justice like God’s Justice, justice toward the downtrodden.”

The Judeo-Christian ethic can be summarized in the “Golden Rule” which Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 7:12 -

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

This is how we were raised. It is how we raised our children and they are raising our grandchildren. It is how we live every day. Yet it appears evident to any observer today that this is not the case with many. We began 2023 with a lot of hope for a better future. Only to see, what we often do, is that the hope diminishes over the course of the year. Leaving us to hope again for something to change for the better.

So as we approach the ringing in of the New Year of 2024, we do so with expectation of hope for a better year to come. None of us know what the year holds, only God knows. Will He send His Son for His church? Time will tell and in that time we need to each remember the simple and pointant words of our Saviour and Lord-

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Elaine and I want to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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