The Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty
The words from the Epistle of James have become painfully relevant this year: “15 You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:15, ESV). If we needed a reminder of the value of adding “God willing,” to our intended plans, we have had it in no uncertain terms. It may have been a hard lesson, but it’s a necessary one: Be careful what you put your trust in. Who or what do you trust in during a time like this when even Walmart fails you?
The question drives us back to where we should have been all along: God. Amid the seeming chaos in the world around us, God remains in control. He permits war, bloodshed, and political upheaval only for as long as it serves His plan of salvation, He uses pestilence, financial ruin, and even the plots of evil men it to further His good and gracious will. From our perspective, this world seems to be hurtling out of control. But not from God’s perspective. 2020 may seem to be a year of chaos, but it is, to use the old terminology, the year of our Lord 2020.
We mark the changing of seasons by the beginning and end of sports seasons; by the passing of school years; and by mowing grass, which gives way to raking leaves, which gives way to plowing snow, which gives way to pruning shrubs…. Instead, let’s focus on marking our time on God’s calendar. Rediscover the pattern of daily prayer in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Rediscover the seasons of the church year, each with its unique emphasis on the life and work of Jesus Christ. Renew your focus on the holidays—the ‘feasts’—of the church year, with the great events and people that they keep in our collective memories. Since, this year, we have such a pointed reminder to add “God willing” to all of our plans, let’s make a special effort to focus on what God’s will is for you. His will was to redeem you at the price of the holy, precious blood and the innocent suffering and death of His beloved Son. And His will, now, is to call, gather, and keep you in that gift to life everlasting. That is His good and gracious will.
God bless each of our households through the rest of the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty, through the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-One, and into all eternity in Jesus Christ.
Pastor Steve Stolarczyk