Geneva United Methodist Church
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Make and mature disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Pastoral Message

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Isn’t it a wonderful gift when God gives us another year of life to live and celebrate! I love New Year’s Day because it is so positive and forward looking. I think about all of the things I might be able to accomplish, people I might be able to meet, and what a difference I might be able to make in the world during the coming year! The day is like a reset button – you get a new start on all of the things that happened during the prior year.Many people make resolutions at the beginning of each new year to help them start or stop doing things. Even though we sometimes fail to follow through with our resolutions, it is still beneficial for us to at least try to do better.

Many years ago, I made a resolution that changed my life. Although I had been raised in The United Methodist Church, I had let my membership lapse and had stopped attending, except maybe on Christmas Eve or Easter. I could feel in my heart that something was missing in my life, and I knew it was a relationship with God through Christ. So my resolution that year was to find a church I liked, and begin attending regularly – every week. A friend from work had invited me to visit her church a few months earlier and had given me a card with the name and address of the church on it. I had tossed the card into a drawer in my desk where I keep all of the business cards I receive, and it had become buried. Amazingly, when I opened the drawer to look for the card, it was on top! So the very first Sunday of that new year, I walked into King Avenue United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ohio, and sat down in an empty pew at the edge of the sanctuary. Judy, my friend from work who had invited me, spotted me from her perch in the choir, and rushed down to greet me after worship. She introduced me to the pastors and many church members, and a month later, I had become a member of the church!

This New Year’s resolution eventually led me to discern a call to ministry, to attend seminary, and then to become a pastor at Geneva United Methodist Church! It has truly been an amazing faith journey for me.

There is a song from the musical “Rent” that I really like. It is about the amount of time in a year. It begins with these lyrics: “Five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In five hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes, how do you measure a life in the year? How about love?” I like to think of love as the measure of my life – love from God and from other people too!

What about you? How will you measure God’s gift to you of a brand new year of life? How will you live it to the fullest? And how will you thank God for this priceless gift? 

- - Blessings for a Beautiful New Year! 

Pastor Randy