As we enter a new year there is much uncertainty in our world and nation. Political and Economic predictors are all over the map and each have their own scenarios and justifications as to how they think the year will unfold. Even a pastor friend of mine wrote a poem referencing the unknown future. Uncertainty is not new to the people of God. We have a long history of not knowing how life will unfold, however we as a people of God have always had a promise to hold on to in the ups and down. That promise is called a covenant.
Covenants are agreements between two or more parties. You are probably aware of neighborhood covenants. People in your subdivision agree as to how you will conduct your life if you plan to live in that community. The Old Testament is full of covenants between God and his people.
After the tower of Babel God made a covenant with Abraham that Israel would be his people and that he would bless them to be a blessing to other nations. After the Exodus, God renewed his covenant with God’s people and promised that Israel would be his priestly people.
Finally after the Exile, God promised to use the people as a covenant to the world so that others may come to see Yahweh as their God. For over 550 years after God made a covenant to King David that God would establish a dynasty through David and from this dynasty a new king would arise, the people waited and waited and waited. But during that time they remained hopeful (maybe not always faithful) that a new king would come.
As we celebrate the Baptism of our Lord this Sunday we read about that new King who is Jesus. Jesus commits himself to the work of God in his baptism. God blesses him (although it doesn’t look that way) as people come to believe and see him as the Messiah, more so after the resurrection.
We are God’s people today. We have been baptized by the same Holy Spirit as Jesus received at his baptism. We live in a covenant with God. God has called us to be his people and given us a vocation. All of us may have different jobs in life but all of us in our individual lives have been called to serve God where ever we find ourselves. He has equipped us and sent us.
The people of old had no idea how the days, weeks, months, and years would unfold much like us but they knew to whom they belonged and to what they had been called to do. In the ups and downs of their lives they stayed faithful by living in that covenant, a promise made by God to them.
In 2017, I have no predictions other than that we are God’s people and have been given a promise and a commission to love and serve God by loving and serving others so that God’s name would be praised. This year join me in recommitting ourselves to living and serving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and as we serve him, he will bless us so that we might further expand his kingdom.
Happy New Year
Continuing in His Service