The Epistle – January 2024

From the Word

By Pastor David Shadday

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 

1 Peter 1:3-5

The New Year is a time to focus on the new.  Most people think about what new things might be coming to them and their families (new child, new job, new house, etc.).  Christians certainly think about those things, but also about the constant new that is ours in Jesus.  We greet the new day in remembrance of the new person God made us in His blessings of the covenant of Baptism.  The challenges of each new hour cause us to access the sufficient grace that is new to us each day.  By faith we grasp the ever new of forgiveness, mercy, and love that come from God. 

Our prayers are ever new.  Jesus has opened the way for our prayers to rise to God by His atoning sacrifice.  We call on God as Father, assured that we are His children by the adoption price Jesus is for us.  We are new creation, made new by Jesus’ death on the cross, and by the dawn of His promises, confirmed at His resurrection.  With each sunrise, we greet the prospect of the eternal dawn of the resurrection.  It is in this ever new state of faith that we pray the prayer of Pastor Paul Gerhardt.

My heart with joy is springing; I am no longer sad.
My soul is filled with singing; Your sunshine makes me glad.
The sun that cheers my spirit is Jesus Christ my King;
The heav’n I shall inherit makes me rejoice and sing.  Amen