It has been a year and four months since my wife and I pick up stakes, sold the house, and moved to the wild west called Wyoming. It was a new beginning for us. We began a new career pastoring a five church district in Northeastern, Wyoming. Little did we know that our life and the life of others around us would change so drastically.
The year 2020 started as normally as I suppose most every year does. Life is busy, and between the five churches, we fell into a routine. The people and the work were great. Then in mid-March, life in these United States changed forever. Some might be old enough to remember when Kennedy was shot, while still more of us remember the events of 9-11. Each of these events changed us and the life of those around us and society at large. We could name many more, but for most, 9-11 may have changed us the most. That is till 2020, which is slowly grinding to an end but will be imprinted on all our hearts and minds forever.
This year will forever leave its toll upon us, from pandemics to a record number of forest and prairie fires along with the many natural disasters. Then there has been political and social unrest we have not seen since the 1960’s. People the world over wonder what the next year will bring, but more importantly, is this the beginning of the end?
Jesus’ disciples had recently experienced a life-changing or rather an earth-shattering event. Just 40 days before, they had witnessed the most horrific scene they could imagine, their master, their Rabbi hanging on the cross. He had changed their life and their world. When Christ yelled out those words, “It is finished,” into the blackness that surrounded the cross, Jesus hung his head and died. As those words were uttered from the lips of Christ, all hope slipped from the disciples.
Now forty days later, their life was about to change again. Jesus was talking to them about returning to His Father in heaven. The disciples must have felt devastated. Jesus had died, return from the grave three days later, and now forty days later, he was about to leave again.
But before he left, Jesus spoke words of comfort to his disciples, and they serve as words of comfort for us today. In Matthew 28:20, the last half of the verse are words of comfort spoken to the disciples, yet they still serve as words of comfort for us today. “Lo, I am with you always,” He said to his disciples, and he will be with us even till the end of time.” As the Christmas season is upon us, and this exceedingly strange year draws to an end, remember these words by Jesus, “Lo I am with you always” even until the end of of this age.” He is our only hope and our only sure thing.