When the ball drops in New York City to mark the dawn of a new year I cannot help but feel excited. I even feel hopeful. There is something beautiful and holy about walking into the unknown.
What will these next year 365 days bring us? Who will we meet? Where will God lead us? The possibilities are endless.
I wonder, though, if you feel anxious going into this new year. The start of this new year brings with it the recognition that the called General Conference will soon be upon us. Some of you may be anxious about what will happen. I am not.
I am truly optimistic about the future of the church the closer we get to General Conference. The reason for my optimism is because of the promise of Emmanuel – God with us. Those words found at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel account are buttressed by the ending words to the same gospel. There
Jesus promises that he is with us always. God is with us. God is present.
So, I’m not worried or fearful of General Conference. I encourage you to be the same. I believe that God is with us and is leading us to be the church that maintains both the Great Commandment (make disciples) and Great Commission (love God, love others). My encouragement for us all as we begin this new year, especially as General Conference approaches, is to remember whose we are and what our main purpose. We are children of God called to make disciples of Jesus Christ here in Princeton. We at Ogden Memorial have said that we do so through our acts of love, prayer, worship, discipleship, and community.
If we maintain our focus on what is important and remember that God is with us, we will see that there is nothing to be anxious about. Instead, we will see there is much work for us to do in sharing the love of Jesus Christ.