Hope for the New Year

As we are entering another new year, I am reminded of the apostle Paul's words, particularly in light of the Christmas story: the weakness of God is stronger than our strength and the foolishness of God is wiser than our wisdom. I can only imagine how weak and foolish God's response to this world appeared to so many: a baby lying in a manger. The troubles of that world were many and profound. Moreover, God's people were being oppressed by Rome and that was insidiously and blatantly infecting them with the poison of corruption. All the power and strength lay in other hands and God's people wondered how they might ever prove to be faithful, let alone survive the next year.

So too may we wonder as we approach the New Year. Nothing is certain and the powers of the world seem to be taking the world in a direction we would rather not go. No matter what we do we feel ourselves to be powerless about it all because, ironically, today we are the weakness and foolishness of God. God enters this world in us to do his saving work. Our task is simply to be faithful to God's own weakness and foolishness in Christ. We are called to love even our enemies. We are urged to lay down our lives for one another. "We are compelled to be faithful and to guard the good deposit entrusted to us" (2Timothy 1:14), even when the world crucifies the weakness and foolishness of God.

I have to admit that there are many times, when I look ahead, that despair seems stronger than hope. And so I am reminded of the weakness and foolishness of God lying in the manger, or as the apostle Peter put it: the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! This weakness and foolishness of God overcame death itself and rose up far more powerful and glorious than ever before. This is the Lord's intention for God's people as well: that the weakness and foolishness of God would overcome this world again through us. So this year, in light of the One born of God and lying in a manger, I need to enter the New Year with the apostle's words in my heart. Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith, because the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. The foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom.
Continue to pray morning and evening at 7:14 for The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

The Lord's blessing to you in 2016.

The Rev. Charles Cook
Bethel Presbyterian Church, Riverview, New Brunswick, and Renewal Fellowship Board Member <cscook@bethelpresbyterian.ca>