Key verses: 13-15:Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money." Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that."
2013 ends today. Another year has gone by and we are perched at the beginning of new one. You may have had inquiries about your resolutions for the New Year. What do you want to be different? What do you hope to change? What do you wish had never happened? Sometimes we have answers and plans. Like the folks in the early church we might say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money." It is good to make plans, set goals and identify targets. It is far better to aim wondrously than to wander aimlessly.
Yet even the folks in the first century knew that, while we make plans, life happens. "Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring."
All of us have gone through changes this past year. Many have been good ones. Many have not. Some who read these devotions last year are no longer with us-bearing poignant witness to the reality that "(We) are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." The fragility of life combined with our confidence in God leads us to both humility and optimism. We greet the New Year with keen awareness of limits and possibilities. Nevertheless we move forward in hope – hope that the God who bears us up in our limitations creates new things, new options, and new opportunities all the time.
So, as we enter this New Year, we are bold to say, "If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this (or that)."
Thank you, Lord, for seeing us through the year gone by. Thank you for your sustaining grace that surrounds us in good times and bad. Thank you for the hope we have in you that dares us to begin again. For all that has been and all that may be we give you the glory and praise. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission.
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