Romans 8:35,37 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (NIV)
During the year 1999, we experienced the Y2K scare, when the media proclaimed that a great Millennium Bug was waiting to destroy our future. My husband worked for hours preparing for the long-awaited countdown. In mid-afternoon of New Year's Eve, he came home for a break. "I think I can spare a few hours before I'm needed back at work. How would you like to spend the time?" he asked.
"I want to be with our Christian friends," I answered, and I chose the church supper, rather than a Millennium Party. The gathering brought back memories of other New Year's gatherings, attending the Watch Night Service, people singing and thanking God for His provision, then praying for His blessing and guidance in the New Year.
As we travelled the country roads, I thought of the people who had travelled to their church services a hundred years before, to greet the arrival of the last century. I pictured them, families, couples, walking along the snow-packed roads, passing friends and neighbours coming from a great distance, bundled together and waving from the back of horse-drawn sleighs.
Later, as my husband wished me "Happy New Year" before heading back to work, he said, "I hope that you enjoyed our little outing this evening. I'm sorry it couldn't have been more spectacular."
But you see, it was spectacular. We had visited a place where God and neighbours were held in high esteem. These people weren't afraid of the future. They knew a God who had brought them through many dark times in the last century, and they knew He would do it again.
As the New Year approaches, let us find time to visit God's house, the place that provides us with an oasis from our much-too-complicated world.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember the importance of meeting with You and Your people. Help us to cherish Your values, and to strive to preserve them for future generations. Amen.