Summary: How can we start a New Year in the midst of a pandemic? This sermon will try to exhort us on how to face the New Year with global pandemic and crisis.
Christmas is over and we are welcoming the New Year 2021 with questions in mind, with hesitations whether we will make it this whole year or not in terms of our economy, political situations, calamities or even what we are still experiencing – pandemic. We knew how to celebrate Christmas during this time with many limitations and restrictions, but again, this is not a reason for us not to celebrate the most festive celebration in human kind including New Year.
Last week, we heard our dear pastor taught us to have a thankful heart by exhorting us to be humble, worshipful and grateful. And that is the only way to face this New Year 2021, to hold on to His promises and not on our own resources, by acknowledging His works in us leaving us to be in awe of His goodness to us, and lastly to be thankful.
Many received gifts last Christmas and I remember the verse in James 1:17 ERV that says “Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from Him. These good gifts come down from the Father who made all the lights in the sky. But God never changes like the shadows from those lights. He is always the same.”
ASND “Lahat ng mabubuti at angkop na kaloob ay nanggagaling sa Dios na siyang lumikha ng mga bagay sa langit na nagbibigay-liwanag. At kahit pabago-bago at paiba-iba ang anyo ng anino ng mga ito, ang Dios ay hindi nagbabago.”
It says there that He is the author of good and perfect things in us not only during Christmas but all the days of our lives. Everything is perfect to Him just as He planned, just as His will. Yes, even these trials, testing, turmoil that we are experiencing, God has His own way to make it perfect and good for us. That despite of all the losses we suffer, the pain that we endure on this pandemic, the Apostle James said that God made it to be good and perfect for us. He can make good out of these bad things in us!
He also mentioned that these lights come from the Father who made them. The lights that we see in this world are in the form of many things, it can be good or bad that highlights our world today, and that includes even this pandemic. And according to James, these lights may be changing and full of variations. Yes, there may be new strains of COVID-19 or what they call a second wave, it is changing and mutating, that’s bad news. But the good news is that God never change and never will be!
If God does not change, unlike the things that highlights the world today then…
Facing a Pandemic New Year is NOT a Problem
But the question remains…
How to face a pandemic New Year?
We can see it in the life of the Gift of God to mankind – our Lord Jesus.
1. Discover the world.
Jesus’s birth was foretold by the prophets and the coming of the Magi’s made the way for the Messiah to be known all over Israel which made King Herod so furious.
13When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Here we can see, that there is a coming danger to the life of our Lord Jesus. The angel could have told the first family to be as still because the Father will protect His Son and there will be no danger at all. But with all humility, our Lord Jesus followed what the angel had told Mary and Joseph. They are not excused to discover what was happening in the world that time – this is wisdom!
Similarly, We need to discover the world today only to be informed and not to be struck by fear about it.
God said in 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The “sound mind” there is about self-control, self-discipline to follow what needs to be done in times of pandemic like this. Actually, the time that Jesus was born, Israel was in turmoil during the reign of King Herod, a puppet government of the Romans. King Herod was willing to kill all the children in Bethlehem in order to kill the Messiah. He was like COVID-19 virus that time that has the power to kill anyone who will interfere his greediness of power.