Today is New Year’s Eve and I sense much excitement and anticipation as we look to what God may provide in 2022. On this last day of the year, we can attest to God’s faithfulness. We can name the goodness of God who has walked with us through times of uncertainty and has challenged us to think about our neighbors in need. We can recognize that God has walked with us through sorrow as well as joy. We can name the glory of God that has appeared when we have least expected it. We can testify to God’s faithfulness in working in the larger world with people and nations and problems we have not understood, but we’ve trusted that God cares and meets them as God has met us.
And so, as we look ahead to what God will bring in the coming year, we look forward without fear. God will make a way forward for the church and for the Good News of the Gospel to filter through us to our neighbors. Sunday we will remember the magi who came from the East to worship the one called the King of the Jews. But after they saw Jesus and worshiped him, bringing him gifts of Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh, they went home by another way, having been warned in a dream not to return the way they had come. They who were pagan in their belief system, trusted the stars to lead them, but heard the voice of the One God in their dreams (in a way they could understand it) and they followed it. As we enter the newness of this coming year, we too listen for the voice of the One who will lead us home, even if it is not the Way we had anticipated. God guides along the path of safety for those who listen. God directs our paths along places where there are quiet waters and restoration for the soul. And if we are willing to trust and follow, even those alien paths will bring us to the destination God has set forth. May we have faith to trust God with our futures and give thanks for God’s faithfulness in fulfilling God’s promises in our lives. Twenty-Twenty-Two will bring a baby for the Porter and for the Montgomery families and it will bring a Venema/Carlisle wedding as well as many other joyous occasions we do not even know about yet! Let us pray with hope for showers of God’s blessings as we follow the Way of Christ Jesus with our lives.
O God, we put our trust in you in 2022!
Peace be with you.
Celebration of Epiphany
Office closed for New Year's
2 p.m.: Executive Session
4 p.m.: Session Meeting
Please Turn in Your Pledges!
Our treasurer has informed us that we are about $15,000 behind on our pledges for 2022. If you have not yet turned in your pledges, we urge you to do so! You can bring them to the office during the week between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
2022 Directory Update
We're looking for your information for the 2022 Directory! Please check your listing in the current directory, and if you have any updates, contact Brittany at 419-447-2004 or at firstname.lastname@example.org!
We will continue to meet in person for worship and broadcast our services online, knowing that Seneca County is stressing caution for those who gather in groups. If you cannot worship with us on Facebook Sunday morning, you may also watch the service on our web page, www.fpctiffin.org during the week.
The Wise Men's Dream
by Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman
Inspired by Matthew 2: 1-12 | Digital painting
The Wise Men follow the direction of the shimmering, dotted lights of the night sky, and receive instruction in the subconscious world of sleep. They are ready and willing to discern God’s will in the outward, tangible signs of Creation, as well as the inner contours of their own minds. God is in it all, and they are paying attention. Is this what it means to be wise?
In this image, the Wise Men are sleeping, and the viewer has a window into their vibrant dream. Surrounding the dream is the deep blue patterning of stars and hands pointing in every direction except for the direction of
God’s leading. These hands represent King Herod’s desperate search and desire to take out this threatening, newborn King of the Jews. The Wise Men have a choice. They could succumb to the pressure of the King, which is thick in the air and pressing in all around them, or they could choose to listen to the mysterious guiding of their sleeping vision. They decide to change up the narrative and resist the domineering, violent powers of this world, trusting their dream, and taking the long, likely dangerous, journey home by another way.
—Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman