Happy New Year!

“Happy new year!”, we said to numerous people a year ago. But, overall, 2020 was filled with unhappiness! Covid-19 took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide. Wars continued. Earthquakes decimated cities. False prophets abounded as never before. Personal trials and tribulations never stopped….One would think that it was the “End times”! Oh….wait…it is! “You mean Jesus is coming back?”. Of course! “When?” Who knows!? But as we enter another new year we look back and see that mankind has not changed at all! The birth of Christ in a manger means even less today, to people, than it did 365 days ago. How do we know this? Church attendance (before the “Covid pandemic”) continued to drop. Crime rose worldwide; showing people’s lack of love for one another. Immorality (homosexuality) was officially condoned by the largest (professing) Christian body in the world! (Roman Catholic Church). Polygamy was officially condoned in Utah for the first time since the mid-19th century. Let me just say “etc”., because you know how bad it is “out there”.

So how can we honestly say “Happy new year” and look forward to 2021? The “12 days of Christmas” leads to Epiphany (which means “manifestation”). With the birth of the Savior, we are assured that He desires to “manifest”, or show Himself, to us ever more deeply. As we daily remember the blessings of our baptism and study His Word we “see” with ever-increasing clarity His love for us in Christ. “Happiness” that is eternal flows to us through the means of grace and we find that comfort and peace that no one else can give us. “Blessed is he whose sins are forgiven.”, indeed.

2021 may bring unexpected troubles but the peace of God “which passes all understanding” shall guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ our Lord. HAPPY new year, my friends!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!