A Message for You

The End is Near! Or Isn’t!

by PASTOR SCOTT SWIX
Hope Community Church, Rockford

The year 2012 is here! The world did not end in 2011 as some predicted. Though others are convinced the Mayan calendar, Nostradamus, Biblical prophecy and other signs assure us that this year is the last year. Well, perhaps. But I’d not bet on it. That’d be a silly bet anyway, wouldn’t it? If you’re right, and you win, you can’t collect.

So how do we live in this new year of slowly improving economy, a world of great change? With European crisis, Arab Spring, global warming, Lions winning, China ascending, presidential elections, Washington gridlock (oops, sorry, that’s not new) and on and on, what are we to do?

Be faithful. Live as though Christ shall return tomorrow. And as though he won’t. Live faithfully. A faithful Christ-like life is lived the same way, either way. Love God and others, care, forgive, share the good news of the Gospel, give generously. Change a life for the better—our own, and others’. Live in the joy of the holy present moment while prudently considering the future that may come. But do not worry about it, or ignore it. Remember the past, but do not dwell upon it either. We cannot change it, nor can we recapture it.

Be faithful. That’s mostly an internal thing. Focus on becoming what God is calling us to be, and less on making others into what we think God expects them to be. Concentrate on our blessings, and less on all the things we want or think we need, and we’ll find more joy and contentment and less anxious depression.

Be faithful. Martin Luther said, “Even if I knew that the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today.”

Take care of what we have, and use it wisely, for one day or for many, for we may need it for a very long time.

It is a new year. Live it!

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