Mission of Pastoral Graffiti

Living a Christian life is more than challenging, in our sound-bite driven world.  I hope to toss you some valuable "thought-bites" to challenge and boost your faith.  With God's power & help, we make it work, by making it real.    About Me.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What if your New Year isn’t so happy?

January has always been a month when I feel like I am coasting in neutral. We spend the entire fall season ramping up for Christmas. Like every other year, it comes and goes.  Walking into church on the 1st Sunday in January has always given me a little bit of an empty feeling.

All the beautiful decorations for Christmas are gone and the walls just look like vanilla.  So, without any other contributing circumstances, it is perfectly normal to feel a little bit of a letdown in January.

But for many people, there are circumstances that make things more difficult and discouraging. If the circumstances of your life are difficult, the Christmas season may have given you a little bit of a boost. Yet, here we are in January and the boost is gone.

Last Sunday, in Curryville church, we began discussing the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible. It was written by Israel’s most successful King, Solomon. Getting to the point, Solomon was extremely wealthy and successful in every way that mere humans can define success.

Yet at the end of the 1st chapter of Ecclesiastes, he declares:  “ I, the teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 I decided to seek out and study the wisdom of the ages, of all that had been done under the heavens. I soon discovered the harsh realities of the work God has given us that keeps us so busy. 14 I have witnessed all that is done under the sun, and indeed, all is fleeting, like trying to embrace the wind.”- Ecc. 1: 12-14

After hearing my 1st message in this series, a lady from my church commented, “that’s depressing..”  I completely agreed with her observation.  In a strange way, I think it is helpful to  find genuine human pessimism in the Bible.  As a pastor, it would be very disingenuous of me  to try to instill the idea in people that life is always great and happy, if you are a Christian.

Solomon’s writing smacks us head on with the reality of how difficult life can be.  As the book of Ecclesiastes unfolds, we find that a better quality of life can truly be found when we look to God to find meaning for our lives.

Our own human thinking has significant limitations. We never have the opportunity to see the big picture of our lives.  We can’t change the past, and we have no crystal ball to see the future. So at the end of our logic, what is left?

Perhaps the time has come to give God a try as part of a church family. Yes, just like any other family, church families can be difficult and have issues of their own. But God never intended us to follow him alone. Together we help each other through the difficult journey of life.

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