“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
It is hard for me to believe, but this post marks the one year anniversary of this record of life and ministry in Boston. I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read these entries and follow our progress – many of whom I know and quite a few whom I hope to meet someday. Each week I have undertaken to reflect upon the events of life in the church and in the home with two intentions: a) to glorify God, and b) to encourage and uplift those who will read these words. I pray that I have been faithful to those goals.
When I started this ‘blog’ a year ago, I had a vague idea what would transpire as the calendar progressed from week to week. I knew that there would be major events in the life of the church (VBS, Christmas and Easter) and in my family’s life (birthdays, the 1st day of college and at least one wedding), but it is the unexpected developments that truly shaped the past 12 months. Someone once said, “Life is what happens while we are making other plans,” and that was true this year, as we witnessed wonderful surprises (rainbows, reunions and new rides) and tragic developments (the Patriots Day bombing downtown, to name just one). The only thing I can say is that through it all, God has remained faithful.
It all brings me back to Colossians 3:17; I cannot change my situation, but I can control my reaction. I can, in good times and in bad, whether in word or deed, do everything in the name of Jesus while giving thanks to God. I am not required to give thanks for everything (after all, some things are not good) but I can give thanks to God in everything (thanking Him for His abiding presence and His eternal hope of greater things, for example). How I respond is the test of faith – will I speak and serve in Christ’s authority with gratitude or will speak for and I serve myself with discontent? I am not suggesting we be foolishly optimistic as if simply showing a sunny disposition will make everything right; I am suggesting that we always act in accordance with the name we bear (“Christian”) and express gratitude to God in all things (even if the only thing we can think of thanking Him for is a future glory).
As I type these words, we who live in the Boston area are coming out of a fortnight of hazy, hot and humid weather, and the forecast is for more of the same in the week to come. We’ve had the air conditioners working at the house and in the car and we’ve been able to stay cool. You would think that I would put the words I’ve typed into practice and glorify God by thanking Him for the warmth (instead of the blizzard conditions we had 5 months ago) and the coolness of air conditioned air. You would think that I would speak and act in the name of Jesus…but I grumble. I thank God He is still working on me and giving me more to write about each week. Perhaps this coming year’s worth of entries will mark greater progress toward making me who God created me to be. I’ll let you know how it’s going…every Friday morning. I’ll talk with you again next week.