At the beginning of the year, we were given a motto from our Chief Apostle: “Serving and reigning with Christ.
” In a recent service, he asked a simple question: “Have we grown?
” We can measure ourselves by recalling how often we applied this motto in our lives. If we recall the opening service of the year 2023, “Serving and reigning with Christ
” was expanded upon. When we harken back to these points, I think we’ll be delighted at how often they came alive and were applied.
- Trust in God no matter what. Our trust has a firm foundation because we have a grateful memory of when our Heavenly Father responded to our call, reached out to us in our need, and sent someone for us when we felt alone. This proven care instilled a vibrant hope for us to confidently move forward.
- Love will triumph over what could divide this church. In the world around us, polarization has become so strong in countries, families and friendships, yet through deeds of kindness, mindfulness of others and placing others ahead of ourselves, we have been able to push back against this powerful tide of disunity. The love of Christ in each one has made it possible to remain united with our differences.
- His grace picked us up when we fell. Weaknesses exposed often make one feel shame, but our faith – even if it was little – was enough for us to reach out for the hand of Jesus and come to the altar to hearken to God’s encouraging voice and be given confidence in the merit of Christ. Evil could not separate us from this vital fellowship.
- His wisdom allowed us to learn from our mistakes. I’m reminded of the line from that familiar communion hymn, “With the same transgression,” we so often came to receive forgiveness. Nevertheless, this past year, our eyes were opened, and our resolve fortified not to repeat that sin and finally put it behind us. As a wise man once said, “We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.”
- The best way to remain in control of our own destiny is to let Christ reign in our hearts. This statement might seem confusing, but while we learn to stand on our own two feet and become self-sufficient, our will blends into our Heavenly Father’s and, in harmony, walk with him step by step, one day at a time.
I wish you a holy and serene closure to the year 2023.