Final thoughts on 2020: It is well, with my soul
Well, this is the last Sunday of 2020. Needless to say, it has been quite a year. I’m hoping everyone had a good Christmas celebration and you enjoyed all the festivities of the day. Many will reflect on the restrictions of this year, as we draw to a close. What will you remember? Many will remember the quarantine early in the year, some will remember this as the year of many different mandates including wearing a mask wherever we went. Some will remember the inability to go to worship services. The emptiness we feel by not seeing our brothers and sisters in Christ. This pandemic has made us rethink how we visit our families and even the way we shop. I’m not sure what your takeaway memory will be but I’m not wanting to dwell on the past. I understand we all have a past; however, the past can build us a better future. The Apostle Paul put it this way: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
When Paul says forgetting the things behind, the term is actually not dwelling on them. The past is there but don’t dwell on it. We don’t live in the past. Christians look to the future. The prize of the calling of God in Christ is a very noble endeavor. Throughout the Bible, as people endeavored to do the Lord’s will, there were many times God’s word encouraged us to be faithful, to be strong to continue in His word and the list goes on. We often do not understand why things happen, but we do know that God is faithful. Matthew 28:20 Jesus said I am with you always, even to the end of the ages. Listen to these words of Jesus: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. As Jesus faced the cross, his will was looking forward. He wanted the Father’s will to be done. What is your will? We didn’t like many of the aspects of 2020 but we were still to do the Father’s will.
I’ve said all of this to remind us of our responsibility to serve our Lord, regardless of circumstances. A favorite song we sing often at worship is “It is well with my soul.” One of the verses says, “whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul.” Friends, put Jesus first in your life. It is His world, not ours. Rev. 2:10, written by the aged Apostle John, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said: “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give to you a crown of life.”
It is OK to remember the happenings of the past, just don’t live there. This year is coming to a close, who knows what will happen tomorrow. May we always proudly exclaim as Joshua did: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We live in the Lord because, It is well, with my soul. God be with you in the new year.
(From the Pulpit is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of the Weirton Ministerial Association.)