Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on December 31, 2013.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for endings and beginnings. Amen.
Reading: I Peter 4: 7-11 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Change is a scary word. At times we get comfortable with life as we know it; making it a little bit different often comes with anxiety. But, change can be good. It can be exciting and put a newness in our lives that gives us a fresh outlook on our surroundings. We rearrange from what is to what will be.
Saying goodbye is sometimes tough to do. Okay, it is almost always tough to do. Saying goodbye to those who have helped shape your life, been by your side, and helped you through the good and bad is something none of us probably look forward to. But eventually we all have to say goodbye. Move on. Make a change. But with prayer and faith in God, we know that endings are new beginnings. We know God will watch over us.
On December 31, we say goodbye to the year that was. Every time this date rolls around, we mark the end of one year and get set to begin another one. We look back at what happened in our lives the previous 365 days and we reflect on how far we have come. We look ahead to the new year, maybe making a resolution that we will try to make a change in our life and start fresh.
You probably could tell me what you did last New Year’s Eve. Big plans are usually made to celebrate the closing of the year and the coming of a new one. Great excitement abounds as the big lighted ball is dropped from high atop Times Square, ushering in the first minutes of a new year.
As we begin a new year, let us be thankful for what we have. Let us not take for granted what has been given to us, especially God’s grace. We’ve come a long way this year! Here’s to a great new year. And so, we end this year with this verse from the last book of the Bible: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.” (Revelation 22: 21) --Chad Hershberger
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