Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful time with your family and friends over the last few weeks. Many many thanks to all of you who gave your time, energy, prayers, and gifts to make MLEPC's Christmas celebrations special. Christmas Eve is one of the best moments in our community to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and you all did so with your worship, hospitality, and service. Please continue to pray for the seeds that were planted among our guests. We had hundreds of visitors, and we are praying that God will become more and more real to each one of them.
As the years change, we naturally find ourselves reflecting on the past and looking toward future plans and possibilities. You may want to set aside time for intentional reflection and prayer. As I shared a couple of years ago, one of the tools I have found useful is called a "prayer of examen." It is a simple method to prayerfully pay attention to where God has been at work and where He may be leading us. Debra Mooney of Xavier University suggests this list of questions as a possible guide. Find a quiet spot, grab a journal, think back over the last year and ask the Lord to help you see:
- What am I especially grateful for this past year? An event that took place? Courage that I mustered? Love and support I received?
- Where have I felt true joy?
- What troubled me?
- What has challenged me?
- Where and when did I find an opportunity for renewal and pause?
- Have I noticed God's presence in any of this?
- In light of my review, what should be my response to the Lord in my life?
- As I look ahead to the coming months, what comes to mind?
- With what attitude do I want to enter the next few months?, the next year?
As you finish, ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit and strength, with His wisdom and discernment, and with His love for you and for everyone around you.
May God bless you and bless our congregation as we seek to serve Him and proclaim His Good News to the world!