Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Psalm 118:1-14 and Mark 16:1-8.

Psalm 118:6 With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can anyone do to me? (RSV)

We’re just days into the New Year which means we are still carrying many of our dreams and ambitions in our hearts and minds. The next twelve months are full of opportunity, as well as uncertainty. Not one of us really knows what we will individually face, but we hope for the best and try to plan ahead. I’m already filling up my calendar with events and tasks that look good on paper, but I also know there will be some of them that I will have to discard or be unable to accomplish. Within a couple of weeks, I’ll settle into a manageable routine which will help me to complete most of the things that God wants of me, as well as to fulfill a few dreams and new ideas that I want to accomplish.

I also know that some of my folks are anxious about the future and feel uncertain about where they are headed. Work, health, and relationship issues are normally at the heart of their insecurity – not knowing what is in front of them can create a fearfulness which, if fed enough dread, can become overwhelming. Despair may set in, which is always hard to diminish, and feelings of guilt or regret can sour any hopes or dreams for the new year. Being human is never easy and the burdens we carry can bring us down. The emotional baggage from last year can be carried over into this year, spoiling our good intentions and new resolutions.

However, we are not alone. God is always with us and His love, indeed, does endure forever. No matter what we face, God stands beside us; no matter what confronts us, God is willing to support, counsel, and guide us through it. As the psalmist simply stated long ago, “With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can anyone do to me?” – we can depend on God to help us through anything; we can rely on Him for strength when we are weak, hope when we are down, and love when we feel lost.

May God bless you and all of your loved ones throughout this new year. May all of your dreams be fulfilled and may god let your plans succeed.

Prayer: Lord God, when we are afraid and insecure, help us to find faith and rediscover our dependence on You. In Christ’s Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called ‘New Year Communion.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: click here.