By Dr. Rev. Linda Hollies
What a joy to be able to wish you, pray for you and greet you with the words, “A Blessed New Year”! We have been given another gift from God with the opening of a new set of days, hours and minutes to make life better for ourselves and for others. I am praying that your vision is huge; that your goals are monumental and that your hope has been enlarged so that God’s miracle working power can be manifest in you and through you in these fresh, new days of starting all over again!
Many of us heralded in the New Year, on our knees at Watch Night Services. This ancient custom began when slaves were watching for “freedom” and the promised emancipation proclamation to arrive! And, today, we are free to work toward a more full human existence for all of the world. God is so committed to each one of us. We have been spared death and allowed to see the first day of January, in the year of our Lord, 2006. And, the question before us is not what did we resolve to do, but how will we respond to the Grace of God this year?
I’m slow to “wish” you a “happy” new year, for the word “happy” comes from the Latin word, “happenstance”. Happenstance is a matter of luck, that comes from Lucifer, another name for the devil! We can happen to be happy one minute and something might occur to upset us; anger us; depress us; defeat us or change our happy feelings by chance in the very next! So, happy is not the word that I want to extend to you. But, I’m praying that every reader of this column will be blessed to be a greater blessing in their world in the coming days. For God has granted us the divine power to accomplish exceedingly and abundantly above what we have already done! And, God has allowed our golden moments to roll on, so we can now do more!
The situations in our lives have not all straightened out; the issues that we wrestled with might yet be looming large; the children that we felt had loss their minds have not “found” them yet; the crazy folks at work have not all been declared “officially” sane, and some of us do not have positions to claim as “jobs”, but we do have a new beginning, a new opportunity and a new chance to grow, be different, make new choices and claim our lives before us. We have some fresh days ahead to paint with vivid colors that we chose. We have new, unclaimed hope to pursue with bold dreams that we have put on hold for way too long. And, we have a destiny to seek that God ordained before our birth. It’s exciting to know that just as snow falls, just as night follows day, just as the sun rises always in the east and as the days begin to lengthen on their own, that God is working on our behalf in ways that we cannot even imagine! As Donald Lawrence and his group sing, “It’s a New Season!” And, again, in this season we can trust in God!
It’s a New Year! We need to face this New Year with gusto, with enthusiasm and with faith in our God who is committed to our being victorious over-comers in every area of our lives! We don’t have to allow the gloom in the world to overtake us and make us consumers of all the bad news around us! We should not be “buying” all the media hype about the dismal economy; loss of jobs; car manufacturing decline; and poor school performances! We are the people of God and David declared, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor the people of God begging for bread.”
It’s time for us, Christians, to look at our own hands and to discover just what it is that God is calling us to do about all of the lack that is around us! Remember, that when Moses wanted to stop and pray at the Red Sea, God called for him to “Use what you have in your own hands!” We have been given pieces of God’s creativity through our spiritual gifts and it’s our faith that decrees that God created the world, out of nothing! Our fore-parents made ways out of no ways! So, we have a history of knowing that God is committed to us! By all rights we should have been dead and forgotten by now! Yet, we live and the promise is that we can live the abundant life!
My life is one of being a transformational agent! Some would call me a meddler, a lighting rod or even worse! However, my gift of encouragement calls me to transform the world around me! God has called me to make a difference where I am. I don’t always like where I’m placed. I surely don’t like all the people in all the places that I go! And, all of the people don’t like me either! However, I’m called to make a difference and so are you! Paul says it this way: “I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” (1 Timothy 1: 12)
With our new birth, our baptism and our receiving of The Holy Spirit, on a daily basis, we are equipped with the strength to be in service for God. Our service is not just for Sunday morning at worship! The strength that we are given is for our everyday, walk-around, seeing and being seen life. We are the light of the world. We are the salt of the earth. We are love, on exhibit. We are change agents. We are those who have been transformed and now, by the high wattage of The Light in us, we transform others. This is all Good News! Declare it today! Decree it today! Call those things into being, which have been lying dormant within your spirit! It’s a New Year! Now is our time to kick it up and to kick it off right! To God be all the glory for a Blessed New Year!
On the journey with ya! Rev. Dr. Linda H. Hollies
Let’s live holy; laugh often; and let’s love with flair and with extravagance!
WomanSpace: 820 Monroe, NW Suite 323, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503, (616) 776-9706
Saving Sisters, one woman at a time! Join us! Shalom!