Dear Friends in Christ,
Ah, New Year’s. Hope springs eternal. We can leave the mess of 2020 behind, and we can look forward to a better 2021. This seems to be the common sentiment. We hope we can finally get back to what we had, do the things we like, and eventually, 2020 will seem just like a bump in the road.
While understandable, this approach fails to acknowledge the opportunity we have in the crisis of 2020 as God’s people. I want to posit three things that I hope we take away from God’s people from 2020:
1.) 2020 discomforted us in so many ways because it interrupted our routines and connections. Think of remote learning, virtual worship, or the hundreds of zoom meetings you went to-they were all pale imitations of the real, in-person realities we need. 2020 revealed our deep, human need for connection to God and one another, and I pray that we value connection in 2021 in fresh, new ways that we haven’t prior.
2.) 2020 shined a beautiful light on many vocations we didn’t use to give much thought. Think of the janitor with the cleaning cart or the overnight stocker at the grocery store. These folks were often taken for granted. Think of politicians and health officials. You may even disagree with them, and yet they have led us through these times. 2020 reminded us that these are necessary, God-given, and God-pleasing vocations that call for our gratitude and thanksgiving.
3.) Finally, 2020 has challenged us to rely on God’s grace and God’s promises amid uncertainty. When life is comfortable, we so often don’t see the need for God’s promises and God’s grace because we have everything we already need. The uncertainty and angst of the past year have brought many of us to realize that God’s promises are sufficient and that we don’t need all that we think we do. 2020 has given us permission to recognize our spiritual poverty and give thanks that God’s promise is, in fact, enough!
What lessons can you take as a disciple from 2020?