Many of us are in review mode now and if it seems like too much of a challenge it is probably because are having to acknowledge that we were not as eager to review in situ as we are when the movie comes out.
The feast of Gathering (haqqatsir , haqqawtseer) was a time for harvesting and enjoying the fruit of one’s labour. It may seem that this is what we do when new year’s day approaches. End of Year for the people with whom God forged a special relationship was a gathering time. It was a time for the Hebrew to reap, to calculate the yield of the fields, calculate the prescribed portions for the communal pot, and travel to the capital to celebrate. Our world is very different and trying to adopt the Hebrew practice will prove to be prohibitive.
You and I are going to prevail because nothing exists that can change our destiny. There is no condemnation at the centre of our worship and fellowship. The risks we face are perfectly pastoral. The sheep are always going to be at risk, of being assaulted, but the glory of life has a backdrop.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2Cor 4:7
We are afflicted in every way, (2Cor 4:8a)
but not crushed; (2Cor 4:8b)
perplexed, but not driven to despair; 2Cor 4:8c
persecuted, but not forsaken; (2Cor 4:9a)
struck down, but not destroyed; 2Cor 4:9b)
THE GLORY (significance) OF LIFE BY CONTRAST
always carrying in the body the death of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2Cor 4:10
For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 2Cor 4:11
Conquerors conquer, and hyper-conquerors squeeze the oil out of every olive.
We Need Hope
God has already charted a path for us in 2019. It is helpful to forget the 75% we might have given ourselves for 2018 and give God an “A” for having his marvellous way with us in spite of our drifting off to sleep on the job and working when we should be sleeping. Hope is enriching for the human race, because without hope we are telling ourselves we have arrived. A better job of 2018 is not happening. One of the enduring lessons I hope to take with me into the new year is that all the popular means of communication have been exposed as easy tools in the hands bad actors. The news (print and digital), the civic grapevine, the Bible, the public service megaphones have all been co-opted.
Pictures do not always mean what we think we see. What we see is often what someone wants us to see.
The writing we do, from day to day, is a golden cord bringing the aroma of life to each other. Writing has outperformed – in effectiveness – the other forms of communication because it is in writing that God assures us of what to hope for, and there we find his unmoveable promises, all chock-full of YEAH and AMEN.