…from Pastor Bill

Dear Pittman Park family,

As we enter this new year, it occurs to me that it is possible for us to spend a lot of time trapped in yesterday. I know this because I’m still trying to process some of the things that transpired in 2021! You may have your own list you are reviewing. So, let me welcome you to instead embrace “tomorrow” – which happens to be now from the perspective of yesterday. I do believe that God wishes for us to lean into the future. Despite another event which seeks to claim the day, January 6th is Epiphany, the church’s day for remembering how the Magi set out on their journey in pursuit of the future, not the past. King Herod, more concerned with preserving the status quo, sought to put an end to these dreamers and their vision. (Matthew 2)

God is in the business of prompting us to be filled with hope – the Bible is filled with proof of this! Time and again God seeks to persuade hesitant doubters to imagine what is yet to unfold. Okay, so here is another classic Bible story that I offer as evidence. Do you remember that fated day two disciples were so trapped in yesterday they couldn’t see straight? They stumbled on their way down a dusty road trying to process the events of Jesus’ death and his reported resurrection. A mysterious stranger came to walk with them, to talk to them and to eat with them. No sooner had they realized that it was Jesus in their midst than he was gone like a vapor moving on ahead beckoning them into the unknown. Finally, they began to be caught up in a hope for the future God was envisioning. (Luke 24:13-33)

And, how could we forget the Apostle Paul peering into God’s future. He wrote to his friends in Philippi, “…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:13-14)  So, here we are on the cusp of tomorrow, straining to see what God may have in mind for this year.

Let me share one of the visions – one of the hopes that captures my heart for 2022. It too is born on the wings of scripture… “You shall also love the stranger. For you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:19)

I believe with all my heart that God is calling us to love and welcome our neighbors. Already, there is good evidence that you concur with this vision. But, what else might God be calling us to do in order that we lovingly welcome strangers into the circle of this community of faith? Who are the strangers God is beckoning us to see even now?

Let us join our hearts and – may I say it again – look toward “tomorrow” which happens to be now from the perspective of yesterday.

Love, Joy, Peace …and HOPE be with you!