I recently wrote and sent this letter via US postal service to my youth ministry group and felt called to share it on my blog too.
“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10
I often say in the days of the iPhone and social media the written letter is a lost art. When I was a teen written notes and letters were how we communicated to each other. We’d pass notes in class or slip notes into lockers. This is long before the days of texting, selfies, Instagram, and TicTok!
Technology is great, but it’s also created the illusion God works as fast as Twitter. This pandemic has caused us to wait and the waiting impacts everything in life; Life Teen, school, attending mass, shopping etc. Yet, with all the changes and all the waiting, there are two things that haven’t changed – God and the plans he has for you!
YOU… Were Born for Such a Time as This. Es 4:14
God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t miss steps or fall along the way. He’s never slow or late, but always on time! God doesn’t change. What does change is us. How we see God, and how we believe God sees us.
All year you’ve continually heard me say “stay focused on what God is doing, and not what God is not doing”. We can easily fall into faulty thinking and believe God has forgotten about us and is not at work in our lives or the world. This is far from the truth. In fact, it is a tactic the enemy uses to create fear, anxiety, and worry. God is always at work and God never stops working. He hasn’t forgotten about me, you, or the world in which we live.
A tool I’ve been using for many years to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus is a “Word” for the year. Ask the Holy Spirit to place a “Word” on your heart for 2021. I promise that you will begin to hear and see this “Word” everywhere; in scripture, homilies, conversations with friends etc. Allow this “Word” to help you grow in faith and your relationship with Jesus. Explore this word; look up the definition, look it up in the Greek/Hebrew, find it in scripture, share it with friends, journal about it, and make it fun! Pay attention when you see and you hear your word. Ask God what he is trying to show/tell you.
I haven’t picked a word for the New Year, but some of my past words were; joy, be bold, mercy, healing, stillness, faith, friendship, and arise. As, I look back on my faith life, I can see how the Lord used these words to help me grow in identity, relationship with Jesus, and mission. The Lord desires to do the same for you.
When we know our identity as a Child of God and are rooted in a relationship with Christ, we then come to know and understand the mission the Lord has for us. We grow in seeing ourselves as God’s beloved son or daughter. We know the power and authority we carry in the Lord’s kingdom. Therefore, when the storms of life come and the world is rocking our boat, the waves of the world will not over take our boat because our eyes will be fixed on Jesus and the rudder of faith – not relationships, things, structures or systems of the world.
We have no reason to fear, the angel says to Mary, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God.” (Lk 1:30) I can assure you, life will not always be this way. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. He saves, rescues, and redeems his people just look to scripture. I believe with my whole heart and soul his favor rests on you, as his beloved son or daughter. God will use you to make disciples if you are willing to heal and deliver his people!
I pray you have a joyful and spirit filled Christmas, a relaxing and restful break, and eyes to look bravely and courageously into the future the Lord has for you in 2021 and beyond! A bountiful harvest is coming and the Lord wants to use you to bear abundant fruit in the kingdom! This Christmas morning let the Lord birth a “Word” on your heart to see him anew!
Merry Christmas & Abundant Blessings in the New Year!