The word of the Lord came to us at the start of the year:
“There will be battle, but we will hold our peace”
How the word was to be fulfilled no one knew, but as the year unfolded it manifested differently in each person’s life.
For some, it was in loss
Loss of self, loss of loved ones, loved things
Those things we clinged onto for dear life were stripped away
And the one who could hold us together became our anchor
He held us down.
Some gained, they gained life
Gained deeper intimacy with the Lord
And as a result, their joy increased,
More than those whose new wine & grain increased
They found the shepherd of their soul
They locked eyes with Him & danced with Him
And now they will never be the same.
And some did gain new wine, grain & olive oil,
Enough to satisfy them fully
Though they wept as they went out to plant their seeds
They returned with songs of joy carrying their harvests with them.
And for others, this place was a wilderness,
A passage into the promised land
A place of uncertainty
But even they had hope, which nudged them forward
It was this hope that brought them here
To this end. God’s expected end
Standing here on this day with our varying victories & varying disappointments
We have all come to understand that
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”
As we enter into the new year, with new energy
And new resolve to start over & do better
These are the blessings of the Lord he has sent me to declare, as His oracle, into our lives.
To those who have lost, or are lost
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old order of things has passed away.
To those who have come to know deeper intimacy with their Savior
May the water He gives to you become in you a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
To those who brought back their harvests with singing
May that which you have, continue to satisfy
May bread never be scarce in your dwelling & may your cup continue to run over.
To those who were in the wilderness
May the Lord lead you through the vast & dreadful wilderness
This thirsty & waterless land
To this land which flows with milk & honey.
And to us all, may we be blessed in our going out & our coming in.