Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39
     On these days, post-Christmas, we wind down, give a contented sigh, and relax into the ordinary days of life. And yet all the other 364 days of the year cling to this one day – the day Christ was born into our world. Jesus was not born on an exploratory mission, Jesus was born to enter into life, and in that life open God’s heart of love and gates of heaven to us. Because of this one day in which God chose to enter our lives, Paul could write the truth that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      As we begin this New Year – fresh, unknown, and a mystery of all that this year will bring, there is comfort knowing that in all things God is with us as close as our next breath. Of all that is written in Scripture, these few verses by Paul, reassure us that in times of difficulty, God is with us giving us strength; in times of heartbreak, God is with us to give us hope; in times in which the days seem long and dark, God is with us with a flicker of light; in all our days, God is with us opening our hearts to love, joy, and peace. Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and in that love we have learned to love one another. We may not know what 2019 will bring, but we know God is with us, and we know that through God’s love we will be there for one another. Not only is this God’s gift to us, but it is the peace we cling to as we step forward into each new day.
    A blessed New Year to all! 

Pastor Mary