It’s finally here. The last day of 2020. And what a year it’s been – overwhelming, taxing and frightening!
When I look back, I see a year of heartache. A year – or at least 10 months – of massive disruption because of the COVID pandemic. A year in which the sin of racism has so clearly been made evident, as well as our nation’s struggle to deal with it. A year of polarization that still tears our nation apart and threatens our future. A year in which congregations and pastors have faced existential threats because they can no longer do church the way they’ve always done church.
Yet when I look back, I also see the Holy Spirit at work. The Holy Spirit helping people discover how much we are connected and really need each. The Holy Spirit pricking the conscience of our nation to help us begin the long journey to dismantle racism and build reconciliation. The Holy Spirit nudging people who disagree about almost everything to join hands to feed the hungry and help those struggling just to survive. The Holy Spirit sparking creativity in churches that will enable them to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior more faithfully and powerfully than ever before.
There is no way to avoid the fact that when I look back at 2020 I see disruption, sin, polarization and threats. But more importantly, I also see all the ways the Holy Spirit has been entering into the midst of this mess to plant seeds of hope, transformation, compassion and revival. So while I will look realistically at life, including my own, I choose to focus on the new life springing forth because of what the Holy Spirit is doing. And I pray that you will as well, so that a year from now at the end of 2021, you and I can proclaim together, “What a year!”