If you could describe the last year in one word what would it be? Perhaps it is the word ‘unexpected.’
I don’t know about you, but it seems hard to believe that we are approaching the advent season. It seemed only last month that we were hunkering down in our houses, preparing ourselves for a lockdown.
I am not sure anybody could have predicted that this year would have gone how it did. It has been a year of mixed emotions. At times, it has been a time: to rethink what our priorities are, reflect on what is really important in our lives, celebrate the heroes among us, and to focus on our families and friends. Other times, it has been a time: of deep distress, uncertainty, anxiety, lament and of fear. The Bible tells us that for everything there is a season (Ecclesiastes 3), that there is a time for every activity under heaven:
I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:10-12)
Even when darkness consumes us there is beauty to be found. We are reminded that, no matter how turbulent the times may be, God is creating new life. Isn’t that why we celebrate Christmas, because of the hope that Jesus brings into people’s lives? Christmas is a time when the days are short and the nights are long (especially in Scotland). It is a time when we need light. I believe that this Christmas many people will feel a deep yearning for Christ in a way that they have never experienced before. As Christ’s church, we are called to stay alert, to live in the light so that others might witness the hope that we have found.
For you are all children of light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armour of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:5-11)
Let us encourage each other during this season. If you see somebody struggling come alongside them and encourage them. If you are feeling weary and burdened seek Jesus for rest. Most of all, let us not forget the Good News for the world - ‘that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.’ (Acts 10:36)
It seems fitting as we have been exploring the theme of “Even better than Eden” in our services that we have been investing a lot of effort in the creation of our new community garden. The project says a lot about who we are and want to be.Read more
‘First Light’ is a historical fiction novel by husband and wife team, Bodie and Brock Thoene. It begins in 2002 when we learn of thousands of precious ancient scrolls hidden in a secret library underneath a house in the Old City of Jerusalem.Read more
This was the dawn of the new creation. The gardener was up at the crack of dawn doing the work the first Adam failed to do. Even now the new creation is breaking into the wilderness of our lives in this world. … This is what Paul means when he says, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17)(1)
Dunfermline West Baptist Church
Chalmers Street, Dunfermline