A New Years Message from our Pastor 2023

Happy New Year! 2022 is now behind us, and 2023 is directly in front of us. This reminds me of a quote from Tolkien’s The Hobbit:

Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? The only thing to do! On we go!”

That is from a conversation that Bilbo Baggins had with himself in the midst of a difficult situation. The context is quite different. Poor Bilbo was in an orc tunnel with very few choices, as he noted. We, here comfortably in East Aurora, are not in any particular distress. The similarity, though, is that until someone develops reliable time travel we are in the same situation. “Go forward? The only thing to do! On we go!”

We humans do tend to look back on the past year at this time, the flip of the calendar. Often fondly at the happier memories, sometimes with sadness regarding the unhappier ones. And sometimes with regret when thinking about missed opportunities, maybe even bad decisions. In reality, though, there really isn’t anything that we can change about the year that has just gone by. And so, looking forward, moving forward, isn’t just the best option: it is the ONLY option. And, it is a very good plan.

I will share a quote from a Pastor friend, one that I have used before:

“…don’t place too much hope in the flip of a calendar page. Man makes calendars, but God made time. He is not following our calendar.”

The Bible teaches us that the Lord’s mercies are new every morning, not just when the calendar flips. Every day is a new day. That is something to rejoice over. As the year unfolds we have new opportunities every day to do that which God created us to do, which is to love God, and love our neighbors. We can take comfort in the fact that if we fall short today we have another fresh chance tomorrow to love God and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.

Again, Happy New Year!!!